Kubra Khaliq

Seamstress and beneficiary of an IFC program to expand solar-powered home lighting systems.

I was born in Jacobabad, grew up, studied and married here. I left a government job when I married and now, after 18 years, I am finally back in the workforce.

I work for an NGO where I teach young girls to stitch at a vocational center. I have been stitching at home myself for over 15 years, designing and sewing for my family and for the market.

I am now living separately from my husband. In the old house there was a generator and life was comfortable, but I can't afford one in my new house where I now live with my five children.

In the past we used rechargeable lights but they wouldn't last and with such long hours of load shedding, they would not even get a chance to charge fully. Now I use a solar home lighting system... from Brighterlite. (Storing energy from the sun, the system powers lights and fans inside her house.)

My kids study and I stitch at home and both me and my daughters tutor students at home in the evenings, so having light at home is essential. I don’t have to spend much and it is hassle-free since the company takes care of maintenance and repairs.

Poor people need this system. Right now they cook during the day and their food is cold by the time they eat dinner. These issues can be resolved. They will have light in their kitchens for cooking and in their bathrooms for older relatives.

With a solar home system to help them work longer hours, women can earn more money. They can make three dresses a day and earn about 400 Pakistani rupees ($4) working in the evening.

People here are laborers or farmers and make 400 Pakistani rupees (US$ 4) a day, on average.  Each household has an average of 20 people, 10 of whom are children and only half go to in school. I want to help the people in Jacobabad. That is why, I am now running to be a councilor in my district.