Friday, October 3, 2014

Starting the Pilot Solar Light Project at Kyaithani

Its September 29 2014 and the exciting start of the pilot solar light project for the cluster schools in the Ndandini and Kyaithani village area of Kenya.
At SunnyMoney Nairobi Office

We begin with an early morning visit to Sunny Money, the Nairobi distributor of several inexpensive but reliable solar lights.  Sunny Money has a goal of eliminating the use of kerosene in Africa for lighting by 2020.  They have already sold 1 million lights in east Africa and are making major headway in Kenya.

Their website is www.sunnymoney.org .



Loaded up with 148 solar lights and 6 water filters  
Soon we had the 148 solar lights loaded in our van and were off for the 4 hour drive to Ndandini village.

We had researched Sunny Money as our chosen distributor and various solar lights and decided for the pilot project to use the model s2 and s20 solar lights from d.light designs as well as some Sun King ECO solar lights.



Setting up the Solar Presentation at Kyaithani
 With the solar products set up on display and Cynaidah and Lameck from Sunny Money on hand to make a solar presentation in Swahili for the students and parents, we were ready.

Lameck captivates the crowd 
 From the first moment, the students and parents were spellbound.  The thought of having light in their homes at an affordable price was unbelievable for the parents.  For the students, being able to study at home had been unthinkable before today.
Lameck shows a multi-room solar light setup

In addition to talking about and demonstrating the solar lights chsen for our pilot project, Sunny Money also demonstrated some more expensive solar lights including ones that could charge cellphones and even this multi-room model.







At the end of the presentation we handed out the solar lights for our pilot project to the 138 students of Kyaithani Secondary School.
Kyaithani Secondary Students
 getting Solar lights

Kyaithani Secondary students
getting solar lights
Lights for Lower Yatta Secondary
Girls Boarding School
And we presented the solar lights to Ann, principal of the Lower Yatta Secondary Girls Boarding School, which would be used at this new school which has recently become the 7th school in our "cluster".
Everyone wanted to be in the photo and showing their new solar lights.
138 happy students with their solar lights

And the parents were so excited for their children as well.
Excited and happy parents
Then we were off to make the presentation at the new Lower Yatta Secondary Girls Boarding School. 
Solar presentation for Lower Yatta
Secondary Girls Boarding School
Jan presents solar lights for the girls
This trip we also brought Sawyer water filters for each school to use for filtering any non-potable water brought to the school and for a teaching aid to encourage parents to acquire a filter for home use.
New Sawyer water filters
Kimali and Ann
Principals at the 2 Secondary Schools

Students love drinking potable filtered water


First thing the next day the phone started ringing at Kyaithani Secondary School.  Parents were wanting to thank the donors for the solar lights that their children had brought home.  They were also asking about how these lights could be bought.

All the students had brought their lights back to school and it was great to see them all sitting outside in the sun in each student's special spot for charging.
Lights charging at school next day
 All too soon we had to leave Kyaithani to return home.  It was heartwarming to get a smiling send off by the students with their prized solar lights!

Bye for now.  Until next trip.
 We expect the solar light pilot to run until the end of January 2015.  We expect to collect usage data and information to help us determine the scope and direction for our next solar project which could see each of the 1200+ students in our cluster of 7 schools equipped with a solar light for their study use at home.

Keep watching our blog for progress reports.
Terry & Jan

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