I couldn’t help but feel proud of the IST students when I walked into the library on Thursday May 10th. I know the students had been working hard to fund raise money to donate solar lights to students less fortunate than they were. I had sat with them and talked solar, on fund raising ideas and logistics of setting up displays and planning an event, but what they accomplished was beyond all expectations.
In a few short weeks 4 students managed to fundraise enough money to provide 30 solar lights to a disadvantaged school, promote solar to all their classmates, teachers and staff members, write a series of essays on solar, promote a book (written and printed with their fellow students) called “Write for Light”, host a raffle and set up an interactive solar booth with working solar models, electric solar games, banners, posters… complete with a TV documentary.
Salah managed to build a working solar model with a 15w solar panel, 9ah battery and a 150w inverter. He even wired two light bulbs to the system with switches so students could turn it on and off and see exactly how the power was generated. When his father won a solar light in the raffle the family donated the light to a staff member who really needed it, but could not afford it.
Lynn build a battery operated trivia game where questions were on one side of the board and the answers were placed randomly on the other side of the board. Participants rolled a dice which numbers corresponded to a question and they had to hold a wire to the question and another wire to the answer they thought to be right. If the light at the top of the board turned on the person won a prize.
The group also designed a really nice banner with a picture of the PowaPack 5w and the slogan “Be Bright Buy a Solar Light” which was impossible to miss upon walking into the library. This simplicity of the message and the intelligence of the delivery is surely worthy of praise from even professional marketers.
Overall, the students did an amazing job at exploring the potential of solar in Tanzania and promoting solar to the world. They have proven to be solar ambassadors and leaders of today and tomorrow. Most importantly they did it all and managed to have fun at the same time. ARTI is proud to have been a part of the effort and the fun!