Local NGO gives orphans power

2017-05-30 06:00
Stefano Semprini showing the solar panel to some of Abaphumeleli children.

Stefano Semprini showing the solar panel to some of Abaphumeleli children.

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Kenilworth-based non-profit organisation 90 by 2030 has handed over five solar power charging units to an orphanage in Khayelitsha.

All these units have been built by a group of 40 learners from different schools who participated in the organisation’s Playing with Solar workshops that was aimed at teaching them about the importance of being environmentally conscious and looking after the planet.

The energy-awareness project consisted of both theory and practical time.

The learners could choose their beneficiaries themselves and Abaphumeleli home in Khayelitsha was one of those selected.

The orphanage’s founder Evelyn Makasi says: “I feel like I have been given the heaven. These solar units will save us a lot of money as we will be using less electricity. The children’s lives will change for the better and we are very grateful to 90 by 2030 for playing a part in making this home a better place for these children.”

The orphanage has 37 residents between the ages of one and 20. Its premises are currently being extended.

It has an unelectrified building in which the donated solar panels will be installed. They can be used for lights, fridges, televisions, charging phones and other less energy consuming equipment.

The Playing with Solar school project has been run over the past two years 90 by 2030 and involves high school learners from schools across the city.

Project manager Daniel Robinson says they were excited that the learners identified a well-deserving centre to benefit.

The solar units are going to make a huge difference in the lives of many children at the orphanage, he says, and that the learners worked with experts to make sure their products were of a high quality and ready to be used.

“Our trained engineers have done the final quality checks on the units built by the learners, and we will now be able to donate 10 of these units to three worthy recipients across Cape Town. The solar units are handed over to recipients in communities where access to reliable sources of power is not always guaranteed. It is hoped that the donation will make a tangible and positive difference for the recipients.

“We have been able to teach learners the theory of being environmentally aware, and now in this practical and tangible way they will also be able to give something back to communities who need it,” says ­Robinson.

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