Registered Charity

We are delighted to announce that  Giakonda Solar Schools is now Registered Charity Number 1169138

Charitable status should help us raise funds more easily for our continuing project of supplying solar  infrastructure to power computers in Siavonga Zambia. We are also hoping to extend our  help to  rural schools in Nepal.

We are busy planning a fundraising event to buy Raspberry Pi computers. It should be a great event and all are welcome. If you wish to support us and cannot attend, you can always donate by clicking this link

Poster for Fundraising African Evening Giakonda Solar Schools

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Giakonda Solar Schools Fundraising Event

Poster for Fundraising African Evening


We’re very excited to announce the details of our next Giakonda Solar Schools fundraising event. Contact to find out the latest news.


Saturday, October 1st 6:30pm -10pm


St Phillip’s Community Centre, Clarence Terrace, Swansea SA1 3QT


Music, dancing, drums, African themed buffet


£10 for adults
£7 for students and concessions


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Back from Nepal

We’re back after an exciting few weeks in Nepal attending the wedding of our friend Avi and his bride Bipana. Best wishes to you both for the future.


wendy and howard in nepalese traditional dress

The whole trip was fabulous.  We enjoyed our visit to Kathmandu despite the pollution and the worst traffic I’ve ever seen. There are so many temples to see though it seemed to be hit and miss which ones survived the 2015 earthquake. We were also very moved by the riverside cremation ghats.


We even found time to visit the Engineering University in  Pokhara  and provide some Raspberry Pis for the students to take to a rural school. On the day we left we could see the Annapurna Range snow-capped behind our hotel.


The wedding itself was in the east in Dharan and everyone was so hospitable and welcoming. We enjoyed donning a sari and Nepalese dress for the ceremony and taking part in the spectacular event. The scenery was beautiful wooded mountains and we took a tripup to the cooler heights of the tea gardens.

A parting view of the peak of Mount Everest seen from our plane was the icing on the cake.

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Why Volunteer?

Today’s world can look pretty depressing. Many millions of people do not have enough food to eat or clean water to drink. A great proportion of the world’s population suffer from war, poverty, and lack of education. Governments and large multi-national companies do little to alleviate this; and often contribute to making things worse. On our own doorstep young people feel hopeless and disenfranchised.

We could conclude  that the world’s problems are too great; that there are too many of them. But those large seemingly insurmountable problems derive from a lot of small problems which we may be able to address. That’s not so difficult and it can make a big difference to the people involved.

All around there are people helping out in scout groups, kids’ football teams, local foodbanks and health charities. They raise money, but more than that, they give their time and effort.
In my case, I became involved in volunteering in Africa. Volunteering in Africa, or indeed anywhere else, was not something I had ever thought of doing. Funnily enough, a recent survey on why people get into volunteering concluded that the top reason for doing it was simply “being asked”. I guess it was the same for me!

In the case of volunteering abroad, no matter how well prepared you think you are, you will be surprised, frustrated and sometimes bewildered by the reality of it. It’s a continuous learning process and that is part of the joy and excitement of it all.

Alongside the high spots and joys, there are inevitably things that don’t turn out according to plan. In my case, with computer equipment there is always the risk of it not being used because of lack of confidence or its being damaged through lack of competence.

There is no point in prolonging a culture of dependency by donating computers and walking away. Our plan is to empower local people to manage IT in schools for themselves. That brings me to local partnerships. It is no good going in with the best of intentions and providing the community with what you think they need. You must talk to the people involved and listen to what they want and what their priorities are.

Volunteering demands certain qualities in a person, like empathy, cheerfulness, adaptability and resilience. You must be prepared to work very hard at times and call on reserves of energy. It is often frustrating, particularly when obstacles seem insurmountable and beyond your control.

But however much you put into it will be repaid many times over. Doing what you set out to do, against the odds, gives a great sense of satisfaction and achievement. Working with others provides fun and leads to lasting friendships.

Margaret Mead, the distinguished anthropologist said “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”

So now it’s down to you.

Find something to be passionate about, something that lets you contribute your own particular expertise or skill to help others. Find something to stretch and challenge you. There are opportunities all around you. Just take that leap into the unknown and have a go. For every person that tells you you’re mad, there are always people ready to help and support you in your endeavours.

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Raspberry Pi Jam

Join us for our monthly Raspberry Pi get-together from 5pm-8pm on Tuesday 31st May.
Great opportunity to share projects and ideas.
We’ll show you ours if you show us yours!!

Bring your Pi along or use ours.

Free to all.

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