Naisanga Esther is five years old. After her mother died of AIDS three years ago, she was sent to live in Kaliro School and Orphanage, a facility founded by Flavia Munaaba, Uganda’s first female judge, a member of Parliament and Uganda’s current Minister of the Environment.
The facility was built as a place where orphans could live and study and work towards a better future, but located miles from the electrical grid, all of the orphanage’s services ended at sunset. Orphans were not allowed to use candles for fear of fire, so they would go to sleep each night alone and in the dark.
Innovation: Africa met Kaliro School and Orphanage in 2009, the same year Esther moved into their dorms.
Within three months of our first site visit, we provided them with Israeli solar technology. Teachers immediately began offering their services to run extra educational programs and homework help in the evenings. Children began doing better on their exams and reading in their dormitories each night before bed.
Nasainga Esther doesn’t remember a time without solar energy. She’s the first member of her family to learn to read, and she practices in bed every night. She already knows what she wants to be when she grows up: a community health worker. Her goal is to keep her community healthy, and to prevent more children from losing their parents like she did. She knows she’ll need to work hard to do it, but she’s ready for the challenge.
Children like Esther deserve a brighter future. With the light of solar energy, we can help them achieve it.
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