SOS children celebrate their new solar panels
Now, a children’s village in Zanzibar has received a more inexpensive, stable and climate friendly power supply from solar panels delivered by Solar, corporate partner to the SOS Children’s Villages. The money saved on energy goes directly to helping more children who have lost their parents or cannot live with their biological family.
More than 100 people, including the local tv station, showed up for the inauguration of a new solar panel system in the SOS children’s village in Zanzibar. The solar panels were donated by Solar and set up in cooperation with Engineers without Borders.
In his opening speech, manager of the children’s village Asha Salim thanked Solar for investing in the development of the children’s village:
”As is the case in many other developing countries, Zanzibar experiences power cuts on a daily basis. The solar panels give us a stable energy supply during daylight hours where we have a high energy consumption: in the families where the mothers cook and do laundry, and in the schools and offices where we use computers. It will make a great difference in the way we work. However, the most important thing is still the financial gain.”
Two girls from the children’s village brought flowers to the inauguration of the solar panels (photo: Mette Schmidt)
Green energy to the benefit of the children
The solar panels alone reduce the village’s energy costs by 10 % per year. Add to that a significant amount of fuel saved for a generator that until now has been a lifesaver during power cuts. All the money saved goes directly to the children, says Asha Salim:
”The money we now save will enable us to help even more children who have lost their parents or cannot live with their biological family. Now we can offer even more children a safe childhood in an SOS family or invite them into our family programmes.”
Both the children and their mothers have paid close attention to the progress of the big solar installation that has been mounted in the vegetable garden. They have learned about climate-friendly energy, and the children know that they need to take good care of the panels.
Solar employee Jacob managed the building process
Solar employee Jacob Mortensen took a second trip to Zanzibar to have the solar panels mounted on the customised steel framework that he designed during his first trip to the SOS children’s village. At his side, was Preben Byberg from Engineers without Borders plus SOS handyman Vuai Vuai, who will be responsible for operating and maintaining the panels going forward.
”We have set up 42 panels and have an additional 2 in reserve, in case something unplanned comes up. We have used high-performance Hyundai panels so that we do not occupy more of their vegetable garden than necessary. Also, the panels are very resistant to pressure if something is thrown on to the panels or if a child was to climb up on the panels,” says Jacob Mortensen.
A webcam allows handyman Vuai Vuai and Solar employee Jacob Mortensen to watch the surface of the solar panels (photo: Mette Schmidt)