Alun, with his wife Suzanne, paid his first visit to Rwanda and visited the village of Karambi to meet the "grannies" who undertook the solar elctrification work and to see the benefits of the project at first hand. They were accompanied by Colette Hughes, wife of RUGO Chairman Mike Hughes and Jacquie from Safer Rwanda, who assisted in the project.
"This was truly the most humbling and emotional time I think I have ever experienced" said Alun, "The courage and spirit of the ladies who left the village to be trained in India when they have never left the local area before, and to then return and implement the electrification is unbelievable"
The quality of the villager's lives has changed dramatically undertaking activities when it's dark, which it is for 12 hours a day, such as homework by the children and sewing and reading. Importantly, the numerous accidents that ocurred when kerosene lamps or fires provided light has been eradicated.
The ladies now spend one or two days a week maintaining and fixing any broken equipment. This is paid for by the villagers as a monthly 'subscription' making the project truly sustainable.
When asked about the highs and lows they responded "The high was when we returned from India to a huge welcome from our friends and families. The low was when the equipment took so long to come and we thought we would be unable to complete our mission"
A further complete report and update including the 'interview' with the ladies will follow including the plans to complete the workshop and the next steps in electrifying more villages like Karambi in Rwanda.