Author Archives: wendyk

Small Charities Week

Category : News

It’s Small Charities Week and an opportunity to reach out to the world and emphasise how much good small charities like Giakonda Solar Schools can do.

We don’t have a huge budget but having no overheads means every penny we can raise goes to promote education in Zambia. Our projects may not be earth-shattering but I believe they are valuable if they make a big difference to the lives of even just a few children through access to lighting and learning resources.

Small charities have a big impact

Enabling COVID-safe schools

Category : News , sponsors

A grant from Welsh Governments Wales and Africa Scheme has helped us to provide COVID-safe environments in 14 solar powered rural schools in Siavonga District, Zambia.

Dambilo school with hygiene equipmentDibbwi with Covid kit

We have previously distributed COVID guidance charts and non-contact digital thermometers. With the grant, we supplied additional handwashing stations, hygiene and PPE equipment to aid 14 rural schools to run a COVID- safe school for their staff and pupils. Pupils generally bring their own masks but we provided a bank of spare washable ones for the school to distribute where needed. The District Education Board team helped us in the procurement and distribution of this equipment.

GAME covid kitKatalumba with kit

Secondly, we provided mobile broadband to support the remote working of our partnership with teachers in Siavonga schools and to enable an increased amount of online teacher training We installed internet communications with broadband routers in 14 solar-powered schools. Our local technician sourced and installed the necessary cables to connect these routers to the solar-powered system and to the existing Raspberry Pi resource network.

This technology will greatly help our planning, monitoring and evaluation of our project through more regular contact with each school. It will also facilitate our training sessions in Digital Literacy, ICT and developing skills using the off-line resources we have already provided. We are regularly delivering weekly Zoom courses with an attendance of at least ten teachers at each one.

Pupil feedback

Category : solarpower

Following installation of solar power and computer based off-line learning resources, this is what one Siavonga teacher reports.

Pupils have benefitted greatly from:
-Free access to technology.
– Access to information for their projects in school based assessment.
– Due to contact with real things (computers) motivation and improved attendance in during classes.
– Improved practical time for technology studies.

Lighting for Siamwiinga

Category : solarpower

After a day and a half of work by Muhunya Solar and some good work by school staff making things secure, Siamwiinga now has power and lighting! It will help school security at night and allow teachers and pupils to work in the evenings. Note the green light on the battery gauge showing they are well charged.

Next week the computers!

LIt up view of Siamwiinga school at nightoutside view of school lit up batteries

Solar at Siamwiinga

Category : solarpower

Muhunya Solar are making a great job of installing Solar power at Siamwiinga Primary School today.

setting up inverterfirst panel ready for putting upmen at work on roofpanels going upadjusting controlsview of school with panels

Someone is  connecting up the solar panels to the inverter. You can also see the fuse box and a battery “fuel gauge” which indicates the charge state of the batteries.

A guided tour of the wiring of lighting and plug sockets.

Siamwiinga gets ready for new Computer Hub

Category : solarpower

Siamwiinga Primary School are having solar panels fitted today by Muhunya Solar of Lusaka, thanks to a grant of £3000 from the Didymus Charity.

Giakonda Solar Schools’ many supporters have contributed towards providing a computer hub of 5 PCs, two laptops and a large screen TV. The school very sensibly spent yesterday making preparations including making a security grill for the new computer room.

security grill

Computers for Siamwiinga Primary School

Category : sponsors

Today we sent out Raspberry Pi 400 computers for Siamwiinga Primary School where solar power will be installed on Wednesday courtesy of our funders 
Individual donations from supporters have enabled us to set up a small computer hub to use with the solar power. We’ve also added a large screen TV for class lessons. Thanks to all the generous people who helped make this possible.
Raspberry Pi 400

Physical Computing Using Raspberry Pi

Category : Training , zambia

Giakonda Solar Schools is training teachers in Zambia via Zoom. Current course is physical computing using Raspberry Pi . Yesterday we posted off some electronics kits for the group to use in the next step of the training. These little kits cost just £5.
CamJam control kit

Endorsement from NAQEZ

Category : News , zambia

Pleased to have received this letter today regarding resources we have supplied to over 8o schools in Zambia.

NAQEZ endorsement of RACHEL Pi

Adapting solar schools for COVID times

Category : News , sponsors

We are pleased to confirm that we have received a grant of £5184 from the Welsh Government’s Wales and Africa Grant Scheme to help make some Zambian schools safer for their staff and pupils.

Wales and Africa logo

With it we’ll buy handwashing stations, masks, soap and cleaning materials to make a safer environment.

We’ll also buy mobile routers so that schools can access remote resources and training.