MMS (Mothers and Midwives Support) called on E.A. for the electrification of 25 health and birthing centers on the island of Idjwi, DRCongo.
After the inauguration of AMISI in Panzi, our colleague and director Tony MdH went to the island of Idjwi to assess the needs, accompanied by the MMS manager (Claire Thibaut) and an administrator (V. Lemercier).
The visit of 8 centers allowed us to notice that they were all slightly electrified by small, outdated and unsuitable solar systems and that the electrical installation was insufficient and needed to be renovated.
The study of the project has been entrusted to Jacques H. and will be carried out when MMS will have obtained the budget to modernize the birthing centers. Furthermore, MMS will prioritize the centers to be equipped.
On Wednesday 28 September 2022, François Hollande, former French President, inaugurated the African Institute for Minimally Invasive Surgery (AMISI) located in the Panzi Hospital in Bukavu, South Kivu.
This new health structure, electrified by solar panels thanks to the support of the ENGIE Foundation and Energy Assistance, will serve as a setting for the treatment of women victims of sexual violence and other pathologies by minimally invasive surgery. It is also intended for the training of doctors from all over the African continent.
Doctors Denis Mukwege and Guy Bernard Cadière, who are pioneers of this technology in medicine, point out that they and their team have already treated 1,800 patients in the last 10 years.
For his part, François Hollande mentioned that this African institute is a reference in the world, and Energy Assistance is especially proud to have contributed to it.
Furthermore, Professor Guy Bernard Cadière reiterated his thanks to Energy Assistance and underlined the essential role and efficiency of our project manager Luc H.
It should also be noted that this health structure was inaugurated in the presence of the Minister of Health Jean-Jacques Mbungani, the Minister of Human Rights Albert Fabrice Puela and the Governor of South Kivu Théo Ngwabidje Kasi. Our General Manager, Tony Moens de Hase, was also invited.
At the end of August 2022, our colleagues Michaël dM and Pierre VK realized a triple mission!
The first step was to Kilengi, 2 days away from Kinshasa (and what a road!!!). Our two volunteers repaired the solar installation supplying the health center as well as the one supplying some classrooms which were not working anymore since the lightning struck in April 2021. They also replaced a solar pumping system that brings water from a well to the village center, to everyone’s great joy!
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In Kabinda, the second stage of this mission, our volunteers rehabilitated the photovoltaic system that powers the Radio Veritas transmitter. They also replaced the regulator and rebuilt the radio’s electrical system, which had become outdated. In this video, Radio Véritas thanks Energy Assistance
Supported by the Diocese of Kabinda, Radio Veritas is a socio-educational radio station that broadcasts over a range of about 250 km around Kabinda, in Kasai Oriental.
A few steps away from the radio station, our volunteers also repaired and restructured the solar panel installation of the youth Center, rebuilt the switchboard, revised the lightning conductor installation, and made an inventory of the electrical material needed to equip the premises.
Throughout this mission, Michaël and Pierre trained a team of technicians who will be in charge of the maintenance of the radio installations and the realization of the electrical installation of the Youth Center.
We thank Norbert Mervilde, director of the radio and the youth center, and his collaborators for the beautiful tribute to our late colleague Claude Gastout, who initiated this project and many others!
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Cibombo is a camp for Kasaians refugees expelled from Katanga, managed by the IPAMEC association supported by the Abbot Stanislas Kanda, about ten kilometers from Mbuji-Mayi.
Two Energy Assistance missions, in 2009 (project 163) and in 2014 (project 371), have provided photovoltaic installations and rainwater pumps to improve the quality of life of the 15,000 inhabitants of this camp.
During this third stage, our two volunteers carried out an inventory of the installations. They also analyzed the needs and collected the necessary elements to develop a larger project, including the power supply of a hospice under construction.
Back in Mbuji-Mayi, they were warmly received by the Governor of Kasai Province.
At last, a very short visit to Kinkole allowed them to collect useful information (layout, needs, dimensions…) to allow the two volunteers who will go there very soon to prepare their mission.
A big thank you to our volunteer colleagues Michaël dM and Pierre VK for their efficiency and for this fantastic mission!
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.
. 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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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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!
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.
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.
“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.
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!
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.