Reliable solar power for an orphanage with vocational training centre
For over 30 years, the non-profit organisation Casa do Gaiato has been taking in up to 150 orphans and, in schools, workshops, farms and health facilities, prepares a total of 500 children for an independent life.
Although the orphanage is one of the few institutions in the region connected to the national grid, it has to pay high electricity bills and use expensive and unsustainable diesel generators when the grid fails. For its numerous activities, however, Casa do Gaiato needs a reliable and inexpensive electricity supply.
The most sustainable solution is solar power. A system consisting of 40 kWp solar panels and 40 kWh battery storage is to cover the electricity needs of the orphanage and the connected vocational school and save costs in the long term. In the course of the installation, young people will also be introduced to solar technology through theoretical and practical training. The goal is to have the training certified in cooperation with the local authorities and the Ministry of Education.
The non-profit Spanish engineering cooperative Azimut 360 SCCL is responsible for the overall technical project management as an intermediary.
The project location and recipient of the solar facility is the non-profit organisation Casa do Gaiato de Maputo in Mozambique. With the social institutions it runs, it has been an important contact point for the population in the region for more than 30 years. Together with the non-profit organisation Fundação Encontro, Casa do Gaiato has already implemented various projects in the areas of socio-economic development, education, agriculture, environment and health. In this project, too, the two organisations are working closely with the local authorities, the relevant ministries and the surrounding communities.
In addition, the Mozambican non-governmental organisation Fundación Mozambique Sur contributes part of the funding for the project.
The engineering cooperative Azimut 360 SCCL plans the system and manages its installation. At the same time, the organisation is training fifteen young people, first theoretically and then, as the installation progresses, increasingly practically, in the construction and operation of a solar system. Seven of the young people are selected directly from the ranks of Casa do Gaiato, eight others through Fundação Encontro from the surrounding villages.
In the long term, a teacher and the head electrician of Casa do Gaiato will maintain the system and include it in the education of the students. The project is intended to serve as a flagship project for the entire region. After completion, Fundação Encontro wants to implement similar projects in the surrounding communities.