Updated: Nov 17, 2019
Thinking about a school without power to light the classrooms and other facilities seems illogical, how can we send our children into a dark classroom? Although hard to imagine, this is the current situation many rural children are experiencing in Venezuela, especially in the cocoa region of Barlovento, due to the power crisis that has affected the country since last June’s national powercut which has not been completely fixed, particularly in the outskirts of the capital city. The feeling of frustration teachers and parents face is overwhelming, and it seems as though they have no other option than to get used to this unimaginable situation. However, in the midst of the crisis people usually have got two options: surrender or find alternative solutions.
Together with a local cocoa farmer, the Giveafew team paid a visit to the rural public school “UE Cabano Carpio Martínez“ and the most upsetting thing to see was the lack of power at the school and children being taught in the middle of dim classrooms. However, as soon as we noticed that despite the lack of light these children were in good spirits and willing to learn, this feeling of hope these children portrayed led us to believe that more than surrender, we have got to find alternative solutions to tackle the problem and make the teaching process possible for these future cocoa generations.
When we think about sustainable practices for power generation, solar panels appear to be a practical, accessible and plausible solution. The energy coming from the sun is by all means sustainable as it is 100% renewable, and a way of converting the energy coming from the sun is the use of “solar panels“. The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)* states that “the role of renewable energy solutions in mitigating climate change is proven“, therefore, the implementation of a project to install solar panels on the school’s roof to generate electricity could bring about positive effects on climate change mitigation and enlighten these children’s classrooms in order to make education possible. Solar panels take advantage of nature’s most powerful resource: sunlight, and they consist of a solar cell system which transforms solar energy into electricity, without generating greenhouse gases and water pollution.