During her stay in Senegal, our volunteer Sylvia B. met the president of the school group “Les Cajoutiers”, which in 2015 was equipped with a photovoltaic installation by Energy Assistance (Freddy A. and his team) in partnership with ENGIE Foundation.
The installation is still working perfectly and has led to a significant improvement in the functioning of this school, which welcomes more than 500 students in 12 elementary and 3 preschool classes.
This school is also the only one in Senegal that welcomes about fifty deaf children in 6 classes as well as a class for children with Down’s syndrome. Go for zero carbone.
It is in Yangon, a city buzzing with life but also poverty, that we arrive on Sunday June 23rd for our mission in a temperature of 35°C, 85% humidity.
The objective is to install 8 photovoltaic panels of 236 Wp, a 3 kVA charger/inverter and 24 batteries to help an orphanage for 32 children during frequent power failures.
On the day of our arrival, we visit the orphanage and we realize that the situation is more complex than the one announced. There are 3 buildings whose electrical connections are interconnected without any logic, no color codes, no possibility of insulating the lighting, no ladder to access the roof, roof covering in rusty corrugated sheets and thinner than a cigarette leaf….
Fortunately, this city of 4.1 million inhabitants is full of shops: we find a ladder and various accessories for our mission.
At night, we have a well-defined plan to best satisfy the residents: we will provide emergency power to a building including the boys’ dormitory and the orphanage manager’s small apartment, and to power the lighting in the homework room located in another building. We plan to completely refurbish the lighting in the boys’ dormitory and install two ceiling fans in the kitchen.
Five days later, everything was set up and operational with children happy to be able to study in the evening when it was dark everywhere else, following yet another power outage on the network.
Energy Assistance (NPA non profit association) is actively engaged along with ENGIE Foundation as well as with Doctor Denis Mukwege, Nobel Peace Prize winner 2018, to help women who survived sexual violence through the reengineering of the electrical installations and the installation of solar panel feeding on the Panzi Hospital. The Partnership was signed March 27th , during the « Stand Speak Rise up ! » conference, an international forum dedicated to prevent sexual violence of all kinds in sensitive areas organized at the initiative of the Grand-Duchess of Luxembourg, and of which ENGIE Foundation is partner.
Gynecologist Denis Mukwege is considered as a hero in Bukavu, South-Kivu’s Capital, in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The latest Peace Nobel Prize awardee has been fighting for the past 20 years against a ream scpirge: the rape, which became a routine weapon of war used by rebel groups aiming to control mines in the region. Also called the « women repairer » he has treated so far in his hospital in Panzi more than 50 000 women who survived sexual violence. He founded is hospital in 1999. Thanks to high-tech medical treatment, victims could be operated in this establishment –– and benefit also from psychologic and legal assistance.
Since the cause of woman and health are both at the heart of our commitments, Energy Assistance together with ENGIE Foundation decided to found Denis Mukwege project. The objectives of this tripartite partnership targets the renovation and improving security of the existing electrical installation as well as the implementation of a new electrical installation with solar panels in the Panzi Reference Hospital. This will substantially improve the economic and energetic efficiency of the whole installation of the Panzi Hospital. A first feasibility study was already done in 2018.
For this last project in 2018, our volunteers, Xavier D., Paul H., Florent P. and Armando O. S. went in Ethiopia, in rural area of the Mirab Abaya woreda (district), more than 100 km away from national electric grid. Electrification with solar photovoltaic technology is particularly appropriate thanks to the excellent solar radiation throughout the year ranging from 5-5.6 kWh/m2.
The custom clearance took a very long time and we had to postpone the execution of the mission several times. Arrived in Addis Abeba, our 4 volunteers took a local flight to Arba Minch. It took then almost a full day of drive to arrive to Shella Dida.
The The Shella Dida High School is composed of 5 buildings in concrete, rather recent.
The electrical wiring was completely redone and the photovoltaic panels installed.
Our volunteers went then to Done Ela,where they electrified a High School composed of 4 buildings made of wood and earth. Although the living conditions in these two regions are extremely poor, our volunteers have received a wonderful welcome from the local population.
Both projects, largely funded by ENGIE Foundation, where performed in collaboration with the Arba Minch University, who contributed by transporting the equipment from Arba Minch to the sites and providing technician to help for the installation and ensure the follow-up for the sustainability of the project.
Thank you to the volunteers of Energy Assistance and all those who have contributed to the success of this mission.
« Where there is light, there is LIFE », said a wise men met during this mission.
This first mission to Guinea, in the Kankan region, Mandiana prefecture, took place in 3 stages.
It is in the small village of Gbillin (900 inhabitants), about 15 km from any roads suitable for motorized vehicles, that our volunteers first dropped their luggages and tool bags. The program : electrify the health clinic with photovoltaic panels and install a fridge, to keep vaccines and medicines. The village’s primary school also received the same type of equipment, allowing evening classes and catch-up classes. In fact, one of the first students of the school who had completed his studies at university. A very symbolic moment !
With this experience, the team performed similar missions in record time and always in a good mood in 2 neighboring villages, Loïla (3900 inhabitants) and Faranindoun (8447 inhabitants), each building bringing its share of surprises and technical specificities.
In the evening, the women sang and danced, to the sound of calabashes and djembes, in front of the health clinic, happy to be treated and give birth in better conditions.
A big thanks to the residents of Gbillin, Loïla and Faranindoun for their help in carrying out these projects and for their generous welcome. Thank you Dramane K., electrician in Kankan and our guide and translator on site. Thank you Dominique K., Marcel B., Geoffroy R. and Sylvia B. for their dedication on the field and thank you Roland R. for the good follow-up of the project.
This new mission in Benin took place in the Zou province, on the outskirts of the city of Bohicon, the second largest city in the country and located 120 km north of Cotonou.
At the request of the Bohicon town hall, 3 sites have been equipped with electrical installations and photovoltaic panels:
– two buildings grouping the 6 years of public primary school
– a large building serving as a community hall and youth center
– a new building serving as a dormitory for students in agronomy and market gardening.
Throughout their stay, the 5 volunteers of EA were superbly supported and motorized by the local authorities and were thus able to devote all of their energy to the realization of the projects.
The joy and emotion of the schoolchildren and teachers when discovering the lighting in their classrooms was priceless. At Lokozoum, especially, shouts of joy were even heard when the lights were on! An experience that gave the volunteers chills.
By making the final adjustment of the outdoor floodlights, on each of the three sites, and seeing the joy on the faces and the reflection of the lights in the eyes, our volunteers took the measure of their work!
A great human adventure for this EA team composed of Patrick D., Djuneyt C., Serge G., Juanito F., and the project manager Freddy A.
The reward of our volunteers can be seen in the eyes of the children who are celebrating them at the inauguration of the installation by the authorities!
A few kilometers from Ahero and Kisumu, the third largest city in Kenya, on Lake Victoria, the Ayeweyo primary school, threatened with ruin and having lost the approval of the Kenyan state, is rebuilt thanks vzw Kitanda from Brugges and the kenian NGO Ebenezer.
Energy Assistance is then requested to feed by 2 kWc of photovoltaic panels, class lighting and administrative premises, PC’s, a fridge and outdoor security lighting.
After an in-depth study of the file by Georges Buxin (ex-Tractebel), Roland Rosseel (ex-Electrabel) took over the project an the organization of the mission en is confronted with numerous difficulties bound to the new Kenyan rules concerning the customs clearance of thematérael, After a year lost to getting in order, the material finally arrives at destination via Mombasa.
Despite the usual hazards (material to be bought locally, reality different from plans, …), the mission on the field is conducted quicly and efficiently. Another great achievement of Energy Assistance, duly thanked and congratulated by Kitanda.
Volunteers: Frederik Claerhout (Cofely), Pawel Jedrych (Cofely), Tom Detavernier (Electrabel) and with the effective help of Ebenezer volunteers
Project leaders: Roland Rosseel
Last March in Lodja, Sankuru province, RDC, Energy Assistance volunteers raised a new challenge: two weeks of work, more than 2000 m of laid cables, 21 solar panels installed, 24 batteries and an inverter placed in a secure room and 50 classes equipped with LED lighting, switches and sockets.
It’s more than 300 children from preschool, primary and secondary schools will be able to benefit from this new power plant. In addition, the School of Mums could has been able to open in the evening and evening classes in computer science started. No doubt that Pastor Pierre-Albert Ngueliele is already overflowing with future educational projects.
The health Center has also benefited from these facilities, to the great satisfaction of Dr. Jean Reynders.
Volunteers : Christoph Heymann, Patrick Thiry, Thierry Delculée and Léon Charlier
Project managers: Léon Charlier
The foundation ‘GiveThe Children of MPongwe a Future’ (GCMF, see www.mpongwe.nl) has built the George Korsten Vocational Training Center in MPongwe. The centre enables local students to get a degree in organic farming, bricklaying or carpentry.
Once completed, the centre can host up to 500 students. GCMF called on Energy Assistance to assist in the design, planning and installation of the entire electricity system from the nearby Medium Voltage line up to the sockets and lighting in the building.
Throughout 2017, EA and GCMF made an inventory of the skills and a project plan was made which involved the EA volunteers, one subcontractor, a senior electrician in Zambia, 6 local students and 20 local worksmen.
During this two-week mission mission, the EA volunteers and the local workforce finalized the connection to the Medium Voltage grid, commissioned the MV/LV transformer and equipped rooms with sockets, inside- and outside lighting.
Volunteers on the field : Marcel Didden , Steff De Coster and Paul Heremans
Two volunteers of Energy Assistance accompanied by Rik Neirynk (Artsen zonder Vakantie) spent two weeks of their holidays to achieve this electrification project in Katako Kombe, in the Democratic Republic of Congo (Sankuru province). The objective was to secure the supply of electricity for the operating room of the hospital with 4 kWp photovoltaic panels and storage batteries.
This region of central DRC is difficult to access. The equipment has been procured in Belgium and transported by cargo ship to Kinshasa. From there, it had to travel 1,300 kilometers on the river and finally by truck. The volunteers, after a long journey of 3 days (2 flights and 6 hours drive on tracks in the savannah and the rainforest), they arrived safely and ready to get to work.
Despite the usual technical difficulties and the adverse weather conditions (over 40°C during the day and storms in the evening) and thanks to the help of local technicians, the works have progressed at good pace.
After 8 days, the installation operates to the delight of the medical staff, the hospital patients and all the villagers.
Volunteers : Steff De Coster (Cofely Fabricom),Jelle Christiaens (GEM ENGIE)
Project Leaders :Benoît Braeckman en Roland Rosseel (gepensioneerden Electrabel)