We are a team of students at Illinois Tech (IIT) working to improve the quality of primary education in Haiti. Our project addresses the lack of electrical power in schools with a clean, replicable, affordable solar solution, initially targeting multiple schools in Lascahobas that received laptops. We will deploy our solar solution at two pilot schools and are working with local partners on the ground to ensure project sustainability and scalability-to bring solar power to schools nationwide.
Most schools in Haiti have no source of electricity. In 2008, Haiti received a donation of 11,000 laptops to improve quality of education. Schools in Lascahobas received laptops in 2009 as they were one of the few towns receiving grid electrical power. Unfortunately, the grid hasn’t been functional since the devastating earthquake of Jan. 2010, and these schools, and over 1,000 children who already have laptops, now have no way to charge them, rendering the technology virtually useless.
We are designing an affordable, replicable solar powering solution for the schools, so the laptops can be used again. We are also developing educational curriculum on solar energy, to raise awareness among teachers, students, and the community. We will install our solar solution at two pilot schools, and are working with engineering students, the State University, and Ministry of Education, building both capacities and a business case for the solution to be implemented on a nation-wide basis.
A quality education is one of the most effective long-term pathways out of poverty toward self-sufficiency. Over 850 children, teachers and families in Lascahobas will benefit from our solar powering solution, as laptops can be charged again. We will hold meetings and trainings with our partners and the community to build awareness and skills, so that maintenance and replication of the solar system is possible. As the project scales, thousands will benefit from improved quality of education.