Solar Schools Rwanda

March 2018

More than half of schools in Kamonyi District in Rwanda’s Southern Province have no access to electricity. Less than 5% of the district’s children have electricity at home, and after returning from school each day, many will spend the rest of the daylight hours helping their parents with agricultural or household tasks. By the time students are able to turn their attention to their studies, their entire neighbourhood is in almost complete darkness.

Together with our partners Safer Rwanda and the Rwandan Ministry of Education, we distribute solar-powered lamps and phone chargers to students and teachers as part of our Solar Schools program, which aims to give all children in the Kamonyi district access to clean, safe, and renewable light sources to support them with their studies.

Teachers receive solar-powered phone chargers, enabling them to charge their phones every day, which they use to plan lessons as well as to stay in touch with parents and their own families.

The feedback so far has been very encouraging. “I can now help my parents on the field and use the lamp at night to do my homework,” Tuyisenge, an 11-year-old student in the district told us. “Also, I’m glad to have a light when I go outside after dark.”

The lights themselves play a role in teaching the students about the future of sustainable energy. “I can see the excitement of students and teachers when they learn how solar energy works,” says Kalize, a technical engineer working with Safer Rwanda. Find more detailed monitoring and evaluation here!

The local authorities have also given their support to the Solar Schools initiative, seeing it as an important step in the long-term expansion of energy provision. “More and more families in Rwanda have access to energy,” District Executive Mandela Muzinga Sam told us. “But still, many students need to study with kerosene lamps or expensive torches. We do not want to leave anybody behind. That is why the efforts of the Little Sun Foundation are helping us until every school and household in Rwanda is electrified.”

Our goal is to distribute 50.000 lamps and 500 chargers by late 2020. To support this project, and help more students like Tuyisenge in their educational journeys, please make a donation here!

Project update, February 2019

 

We have reached our first milestone! All 26 schools without access to the electrical grid in Kamonyi have become Solar Schools! So far, we have reached 24,323 students and 526 teachers. With one lamp providing a bit more than 1000 additional study hours per student, this means a total of 24,468,938 additional study hours for children in the light of safe and healthy solar light.

Our next goal: We want to provide every child starting school with a solar lamp.

 

The Solar Schools Program in Rwanda contributes to the following SDGs: