- Vikram Jayakumar
Our 2015 Project in Chad - Powering Schools in Refugee Camps
Lighting For Learning completed a solar installation project in schools in two refugee camps in Chad, together with the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). One school was located in Camp Kounoungou, Guéréda, and the other was located in Camp Djbal, Goz Beïda. The solar installation project lasted about a year and took place between 2015 and 2016.
The two Camps were opened in 2004 to facilitate the accommodation of refugees from neighbouring Sudan. These refugees have fled Sudan because of tribal fighting in Sudan's West Darfur region, which has reportedly displaced up to hundreds and thousands of people. It is still an ongoing issue with the UNHCR reporting that "since the end of July 2020, at least 2,500 people have crossed the international border while ethnic-related unrest has affected an estimated 20,000 people within Western Darfur in Sudan."
The first project was completed in Camp Djbal, and after successfully installing the system, we then proceeded to Camp Kounoungou. In both camps, classrooms were powered up by solar modules. These modules power around 40 computers, 2 printers, a projector, lights and fans, and air conditioning units. On top of that, solar energy powers the Wi-Fi and intranet systems in the school, allowing students to access the internet.
We are committed to our goals of continuously improving the livelihoods of our stakeholders, and we are pleased to inform everyone that we are still in contact with the school and our follow-ups with them are going well. The school had previously used a diesel generator to power the various appliances and facilities. However, after the installation of the solar modules, they have not used the diesel generator in the past 4 years. By doing so, they have been able to save a lot of costs since they need not acquire diesel nor corrective maintenance costs for the generator. So far, everything is good and rest assured, we will continue our efforts to make significant changes through simple but effective renewable means.
Please help us continue to make a difference by donating and/or volunteering your time with us! We have recently launched a new program - "A Dollar A Month" - where donors make a monthly donation of $1 to help keep us sustainable. Your contributions will aid our efforts in continuing to serve the global rural populace and improving their lives through solar energy!