GWNET brings you the 18th instalment of the “Meet the Women in Clean Cooking” series which celebrates the work and achievements of the women who are part of the Clean Cooking Mentorship Program. This program is made up of 30 mentee-mentor tandems, with mentees from over 15 countries. Meet Clean Cooking mentee, Rethabile Mafura, a Human Resource Manager at African Clean Energy (Lesotho) in Lesotho
1) Tell us a little about yourself. What do you love most about what you do?
I am an International Business and Communications Science degree holder, who worked very hard to achieve the Human Resources Director position at African Clean Energy Lesotho. I have developed strong problem-solving and decision-making skills through conflict management and dealing with everyday staff problems.
2) What were your goals when you started working in clean cooking? How have these evolved?
I knew I was going to work with a social enterprise and I welcomed the idea and liked it. Then I got to know the company even more and saw the change it brought to the people, more importantly, the environment. So I knew then that there is still so much that needs to be done and I want to be part of the change I want to see.
3) What are the opportunities for clean cooking in your country?
Because of the country’s economical landscape, clean cooking is in very high demand.
Poverty: Although the stoves are reasonable in price a lot of families still can not afford them, so microfinancing was introduced.
Secondly, the government does not have enough knowledge about clean cooking which makes it difficult for it to support clean cooking.
Lastly, is challenging to educate the public about this solution.
In 5 years, I would like to see African Clean Energy Lesotho as the best supplier and employer, having completed my degree in Human Resource or having studied International Labour Law.
6) What advice would you give to women hoping to join the clean cooking sector?
I encourage YOU to go for it! I know it looks good on paper when you read about it and what it does for your CV, but that’s just a bonus, it is best when you are in it. It opens you to another level of realization of self and it is highly fulfiling to know you are making a difference in this world.
Read more about GWNET’s mentoring programmes here.