We are very happy to report that the solar projects at both the dorm at Srayang and the school at Koh Ker are complete. Four 135w panels were deployed at Srayang and a complete electrical system was wired in; 100 meters of trenches were dug and lines buried, delivering electricity to both girls and boys houses as well as the housemother’s house, both latrines, the new kitchen and classroom and the front gate. We failed to electrify the chicken coop, but maybe next time.
The availability of electricity means many things for the students living at the house.
First and foremost, it means lights. There is no darkness quite like the jungle darkness at night and so certainly having the property lit up is a wonderful thing. The students feel more secure and can get more done in the evenings. After a brief course in “how to plug things in” and what electrical safety means, we moved on to what else electricity means. Reading at night! Board games after dinner! Phones! Fans! Radios! And best of all—Computers!
Next door to the Dormitory, a small house has recently sprung up, built by the math teacher and he as well as about 8 secondary students from very remote areas are all living there while these students try to go to school on their own. Their situation over there is a bit tenuous, so we all voted to run an extra wire to their house. Now everyone on “our street” has power!
Meanwhile, at Koh Ker School 20 km away, the first panels were installed on the Library and it as well as the office, food storage, kitchen and front of the school were wired for lights and electrical outlets. At the moment there are some male teachers sleeping at the school so they are especially happy to have some reliable lights. The cook is also happy to no longer be preparing breakfast for 200 children in the early morning dark.
Electricity at the school also means the staff can charge their phones, work in the evenings and run a fan, just in time for hot season. Gone now are the car batteries that required hauling several kilometers to be recharged every few days.
The solar project at Koh Ker School will expand with the advent of computer deployment, slated for whenever it is that we can find a computer teacher up there!