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Building a Brighter Future for School-Age Children



We recently installed solar and energy storage (batteries) on Chishi School, a small school in a remote region of Zambia that served 87 students taught by a volunteer teacher and with no government support. After the solar installation—in just two months, Chishi’s enrollment jumped to 150 students!

 

Remote schools like Chishi may not be connected to their nation’s electrical grid for a decade or more, but having electricity to power laptops or tablets and help students study after dark can have profound positive impacts on the lives of school-age children and their families living in the area. Chishi’s students range in age from 5-16 years and represent grades 1-5. Many students come from farming families and having electricity after regular school hours can help bridge the loss of students during the harvest season.

 

For years the school didn’t have a roof until the US-based non-profit, Build a School Zambia, held yard sales and bake sales to raise money for the metal roof to be installed. When Build a School Zambia reached out to Empowered by Light to ask if we would install solar and batteries on the school, we gave an enthusiastic “yes!” We know from our other school projects (Sioma and Mugurameno) that solar provides exponential benefits to communities.

 

The school is currently comprised of two classrooms with a small office in between, lockable doors, latrines, and a hand-washing station. With the increased enrollment, the government has begun funding a head teacher and the community is hopeful the government will fund increased classroom capacity and more desks. Thanks to Build a School Zambia, the school now has internet via Starlink and a projector.

 

A local non-profit called Green Living Movement has helped the school support itself with income-generating projects. The school currently raises chickens (65 at last count) to sell to the community. The students are also learning other life skills to provide income and sustainability. They have a garden with seasonal crop production. The hope is that Chishi School will become a government-funded school once the volunteer teacher receives the teaching certificate he’s been working for when he’s not teaching.

 

Access to electricity can have profound impacts on people’s lives. In addition to helping students study longer and under better conditions, it can increase teacher retention rates, safety and morale. We’ve seen this with our other school projects in Zambia. You can learn more about them here.

 

If you want to support projects like this, to stay up-to-date on our projects, consider a donation to fund the next school project or follow us on social media.





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