We are excited to announce that Alstom Foundation has chosen to support EGG-energy with a €55,000 grant to equip approximately 18 schools in the Iringa region with lighting and phone charging facilities.
Alstom Foundation is the philanthropic branch of Alstom, a French multinational company focused on energy and rail transport. With a presence in 100 countries throughout the world, Alstom supports projects to spur sustainable development through its foundation.
In 2012, EGG-energy received a €100,000 grant from Alstom to help two schools and one orphanage in Tanzania’s district of Munfidi. The solar installations provided lighting for hallways and classrooms, charging for cell phones, and a computer lab. Computer maintenance was assured by CleanTech, a company selling electronic devices boasting low power requirements. Now, children in both schools and the orphanage are able to study even after sundown and feel safe around the school at night, without highly polluting kerosene, which can affect their health and cause deadly accidents. And they are able to learn important computer skills via the solar-powered computer labs.
After embarking on this project, we realized there were many, many more off-grid schools in need of solar energy. We also found that while schools used the lighting and phone charging facilities intensively, the computers were not really a “must” for many schools.
So, with about half of the 2012 budget, we’re equipping six times as many schools with solar energy by focusing on the essentials and giving access to what’s needed most: lighting and phone charging. In order to reach even more schools, each school will repay the cost of the system with small monthly payments via M-PESA. After repaying over two years, just like any average customer, the school will then completely own their solar panels. Their repayments will help us invest in solar panels for many more schools.
We are thrilled to bring sustainable energy to more off-grid schools and look forward to working once again with the Alstom Foundation.