Malawi installing affordable solar-powered lights at schools

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Almost one third of Malawi is still in school, and the country takes education seriously with most children putting in the hours to get the grades.

However, there are plenty of obstacles in the children’s education. One of the primary school caters to more three thousand children; meaning more than a hundred children are squeezed into every classroom and there’s no mains power supply either. 40 KMs from Malawi’s capital Lilongwe, and not one of the 18 schools in the region is connected to the grid.

Solar power became the only realistic option.

Malawi’s government has been working with an international NGO to install affordable solar lighting at this school, and others.

The organization, Sunny Money, has been working in Malawi for a decade but says there’s much more to do.

“Malawi has a lot if challenges when it comes to power… and there is a need to stay here” said Adrien Verhoeven  CEO, Sunnymoney Malawi

For the children, solar power is vital to their success but it means putting in some odd school hours; with studying hours beginning three in the morning, through to six. Then the lights are recharged for 12 hours, and the students get back to work from 6 till 9 in the evening.

‘This solar helps us when we are reading at night, if we didn’t have solar we would be reading using torches’ said Hope Mingo, Pupil, Nzobwe Primary School

“Solar is brighter than the kerosene lamp or the torches we had. We can read better and for longer now’ said Gift Banda, Pupil, Nzobwe Primary School

The school’s principal, Silvester Maleka, tells CGTN that he’s been trying to encourage communities to pay for more of the lights but its hard work. At least one class now, has a better chance of producing high achievers, who in turn could help transform the country.