November 25-26 2013:
In the past year we were able to complete construction on the physical building for the Community Resource Center (CRC) for Golu and partner with other businesses and organizations to equip the CRC with the necessary technology to kick-start the programs. Once again we are back in Golu, Sierra Leone to continue our progress with Project Golu and to soft launch the CRC.
After two days of travel, 130lbs of luggage, three solar kits, two e-Readers and a variety of solar panels we have finally arrived in Salone ready to light up Project Golu! The village of Golu consists of almost 1000 people and has never had the fortune of having power, making this the first time residents will have local access to power. Not only will the power be used to fuel the technology equipment and lights in the CRC but it will also eventually act as a charging station for anyone that with a mobile phone in the village.
Since arriving in Salone, November 23, 2013, we have already had a number of a great meetings! In addition to all of the work with preparing the CRC, we’re also working to partner with the Peace Corps. in Salone. Should we be able to partner with the Peace Corps. this would provide a response team in the region to support the efforts required to see Project Golu through to success and hopefully other villages. More to come on this as we continue our discussions with the Peace Corps. Feel free to tweet the Peace Corps. and let them know you think this would be a worthwhile project for them to partner with us on.
In addition to some exciting meetings we also learned that TVL has been granted a certificate of tax exemption, giving us an official nonprofit status in Salone! So now we are official in both the US and Sierra Leone. Very excited about this! It's a step forward in the right direction.
As you can imagine, we were very eager to start testing and setting up the solar units. Almost as soon as TVL arrived we started the testing process of the sample solar systems we brought with us from Silicon Valley. This includes two 15 watt panels, a 40 watt collapsable panel along with the rest of the system (battery etc.). We're heading to Golu in the next couple of days, where we will finish setting up the larger solar panels and installing all of the solar units, e-Readers and computers.
This is just the beginning of Project Golu and we still have a ways to go to make the CRC a fully functioning operation for the community. If you would like to make a donation to help us complete this project you can here. Donations will go to purchasing more solar units, computers, e-readers and furniture for the CRC.