The main purpose of this visit to Zambia was to install solar power via solar panels at Kawila Primary School, giving them power for the first time. This is a remote school which serves 15 surrounding villages.
We were greeted by staff, pupils and members from the local villages. Philemon also came over from Dambilo School to help.
Everyone lent a hand right from the start. They soon understood what was needed to check out and connect the panels, then sort out the battery.
We even mounted the panels on the roof thanks to a couple of intrepid village lads.
The solar panels and batteries provide a robust sustainable solution for schools such as Kawila. We have previously installed solar power at two other schools in the area (Dambilo and Sianyoolo) and hope they will be able to support each other.
Next we shared a drink made from maize and sugar followed by a delicious lunch of nshima, rape leaves and chicken.
Adele and Sian spent some time with the pupils while Malcolm interviewed and filmed staff, helpers and PTA members.
When we left, the solar panels were powering LED lights, a router, a projector and a Raspberry Pi3 with RACHEL offline learning resource. We also gave the school three laptops.
After a successful day, all that remained was to get some thick cloth from the local market to block out the sunlight.
We were able to complete this part of our project thanks to a grant from The Waterloo Foundation. Muhunya Solar of Lusaka helped with advice on the solar power set up, also donating some of the cables.