It all begins with the kids: Solar electricity for night study

The most fascinating thing about kids is their innocence and honesty. No matter where in the world they live, no matter their economic status, no matter their last names, no matter what they look like,  ask them what they want to be when they grow up and you’ll receive an array of answers; they want to be doctors, teachers, musicians, electricians, drivers, superheros… the list goes on. One thing is for sure, they all have big dreams and aspirations.

The children at Sidonge are no different. Despite the fact that they live in small poorly lit, earth and grass thatched homes, that they have no shoes on their feet, wear shorts to school with holes in them, don’t have the luxury of running water or microwaves, they know that someday after they finish their education they can still achieve those dreams – be doctors, teachers, musicians, electricians and drivers.

Like all kids, they make friends and love to play. They know that school is important and although their minds sometimes wander in class, they know that they have to study hard to pass their exams to achieve those dreams. They  have chores to be done – securing the cows and goats at night, taking care of the little ones as dinner is prepared and homework to be completed before bedtime or risk facing the wrath of the teachers ruler the next day.

Tonight, as you pick up your favorite book, magazine or paper think about this: thousands of miles away in a rural area somewhere, there is a little girl or boy like Lucy (above picture) trying to get her homework done using the weak light of a kerosene lamp. Getting quality education is a paramount factor in determining her future socio-economic status – the lack of adequate and reliable lighting for night study is a severe limitation that negatively impacts her future.

On this particular evening in Sidonge as the Sun was setting and work was coming to an end at the Rural Village Energy Hub (RVE)  site, I stopped for a moment and watched these kids. Sitting and laughing with reckless abandon on poles that would soon be facilitating the provision of solar electricity to their homes, they were literally sitting on their future! I couldn’t help but smile… we are changing their (rural) lives forever 🙂

Nyamolo Abagi

Job creation: The energy vendor role and visual training What's in a name? KUDURA!