Yejj Training Cambodia (Yejj Solar)

Yejj Solar Tech is a sustainable non-profit organization bringing affordable solar energy solutions to the people of Cambodia and Southeast Asia. Yejj Solar Tech is part of Yejj Training Cambodia (Yejj Group): Yejj Training Cambodia NGO is a pioneering & innovative organization providing international standards of training & access to employment opportunities.
Mar 18, 2012

Postcard: Project Site Visit

with a family that just received solar lighting
with a family that just received solar lighting

Jacqueline Lee is an InTheField Traveler with GlobalGiving who is visiting our partners’ projects throughout Southeast Asia. Her “Postcard” from the visit in Cambodia: 

Bright and early March 8 I departed with Yejj to a floating village in Phat Sanday.  We met with Yejj staff and Live&Learn Staff to install solar lighting to 10 families who have neither access to electricity nor running water.  We also would be training 2 entrepreneurs to begin selling the solar packs to these villages.

We departed by boat and soon I found myself floating among homes, floating markets, and even floating pig farms.  Houses along the river ranged from solid wood structures, to boat homes, and then there were the homes made of straw that barely had roofs and appeared to be sturdy enough to barely withstand a strong wind. 

The first stop was the Live&Learn office. Live&Learn is the local organization that supports these communities. Instead of creating new relationships and wasting resources, Yejj identifies impact-creating local organizations already working within the communities and supports the technology gaps such as a need for renewable energy: solar lighting in this instance. I learned all about the work of Live&Learn as well as its relationship with Yejj and the villages.

Next stop – visiting the school that received its first library as well as Yejj solar lights. The school-teacher said that now he can offer more tutoring and after school classes for students wanting to study more math and English after the sun goes down, which before was impossible. Sun down meant shut down. The library also has now become a resource for the community at night allowing members to come after a full day of fishing or working to read letters, congregate, and for kids to come read and study since they too spend the whole day, if not in class, then supporting their families with work. When we returned that night, kids were gathered in the library reading not only for themselves but out loud with others gathered around listening to the stories.

Following this we went to install solar lights for the families.These 10 families were identified as the poorest of the poor in these communities. It was incredible to be able to experience first hand the impact of what the lights are providing for these communities. It is hard to describe the joy and appreciation each family expressed during and after the process. One family even mentioned they hoped their kids could use the lights at night to study more, and every family continuously thanked us. The solar packs were easy to assemble and allowed mobility (since these families tend to move around a lot). 

Finally, we met with the entrepreneurs to begin training on how the packs work, how to identify price, what the process will look like, and go over next steps. One of them explained to me why he was so excited about this system. He walked me over to his back room and showed a wall of cables and controls that were part of an older solar panel system for electricity – it was impractical, confusing, and unfeasible in these communiteis.Yejj’s solar packs were easy to use and practical for the needs of these villages.

Yejj was identifying and addressing a need in this community as well as provided a thorough background on its organization, staff, current projects, and future goals. 

For more details and pictures about my visit please visit: JacquelineInTheField 


Yejj staff training how to use the solar packs
Yejj staff training how to use the solar packs

Links:

Feb 27, 2012

February 2012- Selection of Entrepreneurs

Thanks again for all your ongoing support and donations! Your ongoing support means we are going to e able to impact a lot more people than we originally thought we would!

On our last visit to the village we offered application forms for those interested in becoming entrepreneurs selling and servicing solar products. The turnout was overwhelming; especially considering that we were there on an important holiday, so we thought it would be difficult to gather people. 

We installed a couple sample systems in the Live&Learn office so that people can come anytime to see the systems working and get a better understanding of how they work. We also did a few visits to local shop owners as well as many households to continue to understand their situation and present to the option of solar. We also went, to an area of the poorest families, were we intend to install the first 10 solar systems, before setting up the entrepreneurs.

The second day we had a workshop and invited anyone interested in becoming entrepreneurs. Our friends at Live&Learn have been promoting this weeks before our visit, so that people already knew what we were doing. We left them with application forms and a week later we had received 12 forms! The staff from L&L were very helpful in the selection process as they are the ones that really understand the dynamics of the village and have a relationship with the people already. 

We have currently selected 2 entrepreneurs and are in the process of selecting the next two, by the end of the week. Our Staff will then go down to meet these 4 entrepreneurs, and set them up with donated systems for their shops/houses/boats, so they become familiar with the products and have a chance to use it before they sell it. 

We are happy to announce that a GlobalGiving Representative will be joining us in our next visit early March to install the 10 systems in the 10 selected poor households as well as to do the initial training with the entrepreneurs. Enjoy some of the pictures from our last visit, and we will keep you posted after we visit the village again early next month!

THANKS AGAIN FOR ALL YOUR SUPPORT!

Dec 12, 2011

Dec 2011

December 2011

Thank you all for your continued support to our project. Due to the recent flooding here in South East Asia, specifically Thailand and Cambodia. We decided to postpone the plans for a few weeks due to difficult access and also the priority of helping those affected by the floods. We have recently been able to concentrate again on the solar projects in Phat Sanday Village. After discussions with Live&Learn and village leaders we have finally come up with a suitable application process for the entrepreneurs that makes it fair for everyone involved. You can find the draft of this application uploaded here on the global giving site. It is waiting for final approval from the village council. Once we get this approval we will go to the village to install the first kits in houses, the school, and the community center. We will also have several workshops and demonstrations, while our friends from Live and Learn get the application process started with the community. We will also be looking at the feasibility of replacing or complimenting the current battery charging station with solar power.

We are aware that this process is taking longer than originally expected but it has been a conscious decision between Yejj Solar, Live&Learn, and the village council, in order to make the process sustainable and fair to all those involved, and of course we were delayed by the recent flooding. BUT that’s not going to stop us, its given us greater motivation to help this impoverished community. We already have the solar kits here in country ready to set up micro-entrepreneurs and install in households.

So thanks again for your support and your patience. I am sure very soon, we will have some great updates and pictures to show how your contributions have improved the lives of so many people!

 

Until next time!

Daniel


Attachments: