Distribution of little sun lamps and chargers to students and teachers of Bisate primary school

Rwanda National Commission for UNESCO (CNRU) supported technically and financially to implement the “Solar Kids School Project” aiming to contribute to improving the biodiversity conservation and the well being of the local communities surrounding the Volcanoes Biosphere Reserve and National Park.

It’s in this regard, CNRU in collaboration with SaferRwanda, (a Rwandan NGO specialized in promoting renewable energy and women empowering in rural communities) have delivered 996 Little Sun solar lamps and 33 little sun solar phone chargers to Bisate Primary School. The school is located in a remote countryside area, 120 km North East of Kigali, in Musanze District and Kinigi Sector, at the foot of the Mount Karisimbi. The students come from the communities of Bisoke and Kavubu cells in the villages of Kazi, Kamata, Shonero, Myase and Nyarusizi which surround the Volcanoes Biosphere Reserve & National Park. Many of households from these cells are not yet connected to the electricity national grill.

The program not only gives the kids unrestricted access to light, by giving them extra study hours after dark as well as safety getting to and from school in the dark, but there are also important benefits for the teachers as well. The chargers are providing a way to keep teachers ‘on air’ – charging their phones and other devices keeps them connected with each other and with the world to share knowledge, news and crucial information that would otherwise be much harder for them to access.

Mr Albert MUTESA (in middle with glasses), Director of Science and Technology at CNRU, after distributing solar lamps to beneficiaries

Millions of Rwandans use kerosene lamps, candles or flashlights for lighting which is disastrous for health, safety, education and the environment. For kids in particular, not having access to light limits study and reading time which of course has negative consequences for their performance.

Solar Kids School Programme is an innovative package that fosters learning by providing the opportunity to study and read for longer after the sun goes down, with safe, healthy solar light. The students’ health is also significantly improved as they are no longer exposed to the harmful emissions from kerosene lamps.

Both students and teachers benefiting from Little sun energy

As well as benefiting students and teachers, the project is also contributing to local biodiversity conservation efforts, especially for the Volcanoes Biosphere Reserve & National Park. Every lamp or Charge that replaces kerosene lamps or candles helps to eliminate the use of fossil fuels which of course is a step forwards in preventing climate change.

‘Solar energy as a form of renewable energy has become more popular over the years and it’s our duty as teachers to educate children about solar energy as a clean energy product, its advantages and its importance in protecting the environment.

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