Friday, January 2, 2015

New Solar Project to Proceed - major funding milestone reached

eager recipients of solar pilot project lights
In October 2014, with the financial support of the Rotary Club of Sunshine Coast-Sechelt and two individual donors, Terry and Jan initiated a pilot solar lighting project for 148 students and teachers at Kyaithani Secondary School and Lower Yatta Girls Secondary Boarding School in the Ndandini area of eastern Kenya.  This pilot project provided individual solar lights to the secondary students to enable them to read and study at home rather than having to come to school before sunrise in order to have light to do their homework and study.  It was also intended to gather valuable usage and benefit data as input for a follow-on project that would provide solar lights like these to every primary and secondary student in the area.

We are now happy to report that we have been successful in raising $34,000 of the $37,000 cash donations that we are seeking.  We now have the minimum amount that we need to proceed with this project. We hope to yet raise the additional amount and also to secure a grant from The Rotary Foundation to completely fund the whole $60,000 project.  We are targeting to have the project complete by the end of 2015.

The partner Rotary Clubs behind this initiative are:
Sunshine Coast-Sechelt BC Canada
Machakos, Kenya
Gibsons BC Canada
Belleville Ontario Canada
Sussex NB Canada
Richmond Sunrise, BC Canada
Terrace BC Canada
Richmond Sunset, BC Canada
Rotary District 5040 (BC)

The major focus of this solar and education project is to improve the learning environment and academic achievement of the 1300+ students in 7 schools in the Kyaithani area (5 primary schools and 2 secondary schools). It is based on academic performance improvements which we have seen achieved since providing some solar power and lighting and a couple of used computers in 2011 at the Kyaithani Secondary School. It is also based on requests from the administration of the 7 schools.

Let's get lights for all 1300+ students in the Ndandini area!

There is no power available in any of the 5 primary schools. These schools have very primitive facilities. There are no computers, internet access or any electronic teaching aids.

This project will see a basic solar power system installed at the 5 primary schools and, for each of the 7 schools, it will provide 2 internet-enabled laptop computers (with software) and 1 projector. After the project the teachers at every school will have lighting in their working area, computers for research and lesson preparation, and a projector for classroom presentations. Each school will have sufficient power for charging the laptops and projector. Volunteers from our partner clubs will spend time at these schools training the teachers in the use of these computers and projectors and their access to the internet specifically in ways to improve the curriculum and academic performance of the students.

The project will also provide individual solar task lights for each of the 1300+ students to enable them to do their studies and homework at home. Providing overhead solar lights in 2 classrooms at Kyaithani Secondary School in 2011 resulted in students coming to school at 4am and staying late into the evening to study. This is not ideal and not appropriate at the primary school level.

Here is some initial feedback that we have received from the principal of the secondary school after providing the pilot solar lights to the 148 pilot participants in October.  The provision of such lights in the homes for all the schoolchildren in the community will have a profound effect immediately on child and family health and on the children's academic performance.

The students are able to use the solar lights at least four hours a day,two hours in the morning and two hours in the evening while undertaking their studies.The families also use the  lights as they also undertake their studies.When the students are not studying, the families use the delights for other purposes especially while taking their meals.The lights have never run out of power battery.The lights are usually recharged in an open place at home.The family is able to save at least KSH 350 that was used in  buying paraffin. 

This is quite an overwhelming support from you and the families of the students are really happy. At least the students have no excuse for not doing their assignments at night.  Once again we say a big thank you.

No comments:

Post a Comment