Powering Communities: The Inspiring Journey of Simon Victor

Simon Victor, repairing a solar panel. Photo: Faith Kajumba


Simon Victor, a resilient 25-year-old is determined to overcome the challenges of his past. Born into a polygamous family, Simon and his siblings faced the harsh reality of limited educational opportunities. Due to financial constraints, he was forced to drop out of school, work odd jobs with little success, and found himself entangled in unruly youth groups, and in conflict with the authorities.


Amidst the struggle, a beacon of hope emerged for Simon upon getting a call from the Lutheran World Federation (LWF). He applied for a vocational course, offered by LWF’s CORE-project (Community-led Opportunities for Recovery & Empowerment), and funded by the United States Government. His eyes were set on a specific goal: solar panel repair. Selected for the program, Simon underwent four months of rigorous training in repair and maintenance. Reflecting on the pressing issues within his community, he noted "There were many solar lights that had stopped working, and we didn't have people to repair them, causing security problems."


After completing the training and receiving recognition from the Directorate of Industrial Training (DIT), Simon was awarded a national vocational training certificate. This certification not only proved instrumental in enhancing his competitiveness in the job market, but also enabled him to extend his knowledge by training other youths in the community.


Simon received a startup kit from the LWF Livelihoods team, and he embarked on a journey of self-reliance. He repaired five community solar panels and more than 20 business solar panels, breathing new life into local businesses heavily relying on solar power, such as salons and phone charging points. Simon's expertise not only revitalized these establishments but also contributed to improved security in the area.


"Many businesses are back to life because of my hands," Simon proudly said. Beyond financial gains, he found a sense of purpose, providing phone charging services using the startup kits. This initiative not only brought convenience to the community, but also alleviated congestion at the few existing phone charging points in Obongi town.


Simon's story is one of resilience, determination, and community impact. His journey from a school drop-out to becoming a skilled solar panel repair expert showcases the transformative power of vocational training. As he continues to empower others in his community, Simon Victor stands as a testament to the potential for positive change that lies within every individual, given the right opportunities and support.