As indicated in the previous news (meeting with Dr Mukwege), EA is in charge of the energetic equipment of the new operating room of the hospital of Panzi. For the realization and the installation on the spot, EA works in partnership with the Congolese firm GoShop, which will be able to ensure an after-sales service. This work is supervised remotely by Luc H.

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Bloc opératoire de l’hôpital de Panzi

As the solar installation is already well underway, it was decided to carry out a verification mission of the installations already completed in the building to ensure that the study plans were well followed and to identify any modifications that would be necessary to ensure the success of this installation.

After a day and night of travel to Kamembe, via Kigali, and then about one hour’s drive to Bukavu, on the other side of the border, our two volunteers, Dominique T. and José J., were warmly welcomed to Panzi by Ghislain Baholere (Dr. Mukwege’s assistant – international relations coordinator). They had the opportunity to meet with Dr. Mukwege himself and then with Professor Guy-Bernard Cadière.

      

Before the mission started, several problems had already been highlighted, including a wrong choice of electrical cables for the cables that were to be embedded in the walls, as well as a wrong positioning of the solar panels on the roof, which did not allow rainwater to run off via the gutters.

The various visits to the worksite allowed us to take stock of the rooms already equipped and those that still need to be equipped. They also revealed some other problems, such as a lack of ventilation of the batteries and some missing or badly positioned plugs.
A heavy storm also allowed us to examine the water flow on the panels in a real situation, but unfortunately also revealed a water leak in a future operating room, as well as in a corridor under the roof ridge.

Different measurements carried out at different times of the day and sunlight, have confirmed, among other things, that the autoclaves may not be able to be supported by the solar installation and that the earthing of the operating block must be improved.

The different solutions and decisions concerning the different points of attention were of course taken during the meeting at the end of the mission.

     

     

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During this mission, our volunteers also had the opportunity to visit the Dorcas house, a transit center that welcomes, cares for, accompanies and trains the women operated on in Panzi, for which EA also studied the feasibility of a photovoltaic installation. This on-site visit allowed us to better understand the different roof slopes and to suggest a better positioning of the panels, to find a location for the technical room, to determine the necessary cable lengths and to solve some other minor problems.

Maison Dorcas

A week full of meetings and solutions found for this project!

Thanks again to all the volunteers involved in this ambitious project for their unfailing commitment!

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On March 10, Tony Moens de Hase and Jean-Pierre Clamadieu met with Dr. Denis Mukwege during the Global Positive Forum.
The latter congratulated and thanked the President of the ENGIE Foundation as well as the General Manager of Energy Assistance for the remarkable work done by the volunteers of Energy Assistance and the teams on site, supervised remotely by the project manager Luc Hermant.

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A short review of the Panzi project:

The Panzi hospital in DR Congo is, thanks to the action of Dr. Denis Mukwege, the reference hospital specialized, among others, in the gynecological reconstruction of women survivors of sexual violence. This practice has unfortunately become a weapon of war in the region.

Energy Assistance has been asked by the ENGIE Foundation to provide a solution to the shortage of energy necessary for the functionning of the hospital.

This project is certainly one of the largest and most complex, both by the size of the installation and by the number of stakeholders and costs involved in the project, in the form of a cooperation Foundation ENGIE – Energy Assistance Belgium, the Luxembourg Red Cross, the CHU Saint-Pierre of Brussels, the City of Brussels.

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In 2019, a first evaluation mission by our volunteer Jean-Paul Van Herck, allowed to define the needs as well as the different technical possibilities. This was followed by numerous meetings initiated by the project leader, Luc Hermant, and the General Manager, Tony Moens de Hase, with the various associations participating in the project as well as the general contractor and Professor Cadière, to whom Dr. Mukwege has asked to carry out this new operating block, in order to distribute the roles, define the limits of intervention of each and coordinate the work.

  

The works will start in 2021 with the energetic equipment of the new operating block, including 6 operating rooms, recovery rooms and offices. Energy Assistance is acting as an advisor to the Engie Foundation in Paris and is studying the sizing of the solar installations. For the realization and the installation on site, EA works in partnership with the Congolese firm GoShop, in charge of the installation of the material and which will then be able to ensure an after-sales service.

A work control mission has recently taken place and the installation on site will take place shortly.

Follow us also on FB and LinkedIn for the continuation of this project.

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Claude G., one of our oldest volunteers, opens his memory box for us!

10 years ago, E.A. realized one of its most important projects, in partnership with SNEL Dept ER, important in terms of budget but also in terms of time: indeed, it took no less than 7 years and 3 missions to realize it.

Thanks to the efforts of Claude G. and Raphaël M. as well as Dominique K., Marcel B., Maxime P. who accompanied them on mission, the village of Kapolowe, with its Reference Hospital, its School Center and Boarding School for girls, its Primary and Secondary School Center for boys, its fishing village, its population (20,000 inhabitants) saw the “night light” on November 25, 2011!

   

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During this long period of pandemic, a new project was developed in Kolwezi, DRC, consisting in equipping 3 buildings of collective interest: a maternity, an orphanage and a school.

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The maternity hospital has been equipped with 3.3kWp panels, a 5kVA inverter charger and a set of 520A/h batteries, allowing to secure the lighting as well as the ultrasound scanner and some other devices. This allows the patients to receive improved care day and night.

In addition, the orphanage and school were also equipped with 3.9kWp of panels, a 5kVA inverter and a 1000A/h battery set, which will power the lighting of the orphanage as well as the school’s computer class.

 

This project could be carried out thanks to a great collaboration: the transport of the material was taken care of by the Belgian partner Philantros, who was also the initiator of the request for intervention. The work was carried out by the local partner, Jean Ilunga Asomwé, head of the association that runs the project.  In addition, our volunteer project manager Jacques H. supervised the work remotely via WhatsApp, in line with E.A.’s objective of transmitting the know-how of its members.

Thanks to the technical skills of Mr. Ilunga, the commissioning could be carried out successfully. A control mission will be organized in early 2022.

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“I gave the computers to the two doctors on your behalf and they were very happy and asked me to warmly thank E.A.. These computers were used from the first Thursday of the mission” explains Marie-Claire P., a physiotherapist who is regularly on mission in Kabinda.

Connected to a video projector, these new PCs allow her to present, during team meetings, the different pathologies treated by physiotherapists and their management, thus ensuring better collaboration between departments.

A nice continuation of the photovoltaic installations installed by our volunteers in 2012.

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For several months now, Energy Assistance has been investing in terms of analysis and technical and feasibility studies of the Panzi Hospital. After a period of interruption due to the COVID-19, the renovation works have just started.

Energy Assistance is the main contractor for the electricity production and for the internal installation of the renovation of the Operating room of the General Reference Hospital of Panzi.  This project supported by the ENGIE Foundation is obviously realized in close collaboration with the team of the Nobel Peace Prize winner, Doctor Mukwege and Professor Cadière.

Do not hesitate to contact us if you want to participate in this beautiful project!

      

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Last December, we proposed you to participate in the crowdfunding of an original project and, this way, to support our association.

As a reminder, with her project ‘NOW YOU SEE ME – Social impact’, our colleague Marie-Alice had launched a creative challenge:  to put forward her passion for minimalist ethical fashion and upcycling according to 3 pillars (Roots – Multiculturality and Vulnerability) through a solidarity calendar. And to follow through on her commitment to solidarity, she shared the profits from the sale of the calendar between three associations, including Energy Assistance.

Weeks of hard work and beautiful encounters with the models, photographer, videographer, make-up artist, accessories, communication experts, printer, … allowed her to create this nice calendar and to sell nearly 150 copies! (https://www.facebook.com/BeeMwizaMagic)

 

Thanks to this beautiful experience and as promised, Marie-Alice was able to offer this check of 1050 € to our association, which will be used for the benefit of the electrification project of the maternity of Minova in DRC. We will not fail to keep you informed of the evolution of this project as soon as the sanitary measures will allow us to realize it.

Thank you Marie-Alice for the help brought to this project and allow us to admire these beautiful outfits and photos throughout the year.

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When inventiveness and determination combine to help a community in Kinshasa

The Kikwit region in DR Congo is a region that Energy Assistance knows well.  Our volunteers have carried out an umpteenth project to electrify a health centre for the Sisters of Mary in Kwango in 2018.  This congregation and that of the Sisters of Saint Andrew have also asked us for two other projects that we hope to carry out soon.

Parallel to these projects, the Congregation of the Sisters of Saint Andrew was asking for our help in studying the feasibility of a solar installation to complement grid power for a new Community House in Kinshasa.

In agreement with their architect, it was decided to connect large consumer appliances such as fridges, freezers, pumps, etc. to the public network and to use a solar network for appliances that require less energy or that have to operate 24 hours a day, and for lighting.  We then helped them to size the installation and obtain the best quotations.

Another way, in these times of crisis, to meet the objectives of our association by putting the skills and know-how of our members at the service of humanitarian projects, even at a distance.

Thanks to our volunteer experts in charge of the study of this project : Michel M., Jacques H. and Léon C. (from the companies ORES & ENGIE Solutions)

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For several months now, Energy Assistance has been involved in the renovation project of the hospital in Panzi, Bukavu, Congo. In collaboration with Doctor Mukwege and Professor Cadière and supported by Fondation ENGIE, our volunteers are preparing the electrification of the Dorcas house, where the women reside after having been repaired to regain a certain autonomy.

Read the story of this beautiful collaboration in the article Paris-Match below :

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For this new mission, our volunteers José B. Dominique T and Henri M. went first to Kilengi, a village of 1050 inhabitants. In June 2017, José B., accompanied by two other volunteers, Olivier D.R. and Patrick D., supplied the 3 buildings at Kilengi Hospital with solar energy. However, due to lack of correct information, the installation of the solar pump could not be finalized.

This installation was done this time, to the delight of the local people! School children in the village also took the opportunity to receive some explanations on this action:

A long journey, strewn with pitfalls and breakdowns, was still waiting for our volunteers to join Kwilu Ngongo. It took them no less than 9 hours to cover the last 35 kms!

As the hospital suffered many power cuts from the SNEL (National Electricity Company), the mission was to carry out a photovoltaic installation to provide for emergencies. The network being four-phase and the solar possibility being single-phase, it was necessary to make choices!

Henri proposed to reserve a phase for emergencies. They « just » had to determine what was a priority and to connect it to the photovoltaic system. But, that was not so simple as all the existing installation was built and realized with only one color of cable!

A lot of other actions needed also to be done: to fix the solar panels on the roof, to lower the cables to the technical room, to install the earth cables, to connect everything to the inverter and the regulator and to connect the installation to the batteries.
Local staff were also trained in the proper use of this new facility!

At the end of this busy mission, our three volunteers have still had the opportunity to visit the outbuildings of the sugar mill and the brickyard, working with sugar cane residues!

Thanks to José B., Dominique T. and Henri M. for their dedication and this amazing achievement.

  
  
   

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