Energy for Balou
DR Congo Environment and developement
In Congo, the ancestral culture and the phenomenon of “enfants sorciers” (child sorcerers) are still deeply rooted and disability is perceived as a fatality for its bearer, a curse, a calamity for the family and the community. The birth of a child with physical or mental disabilities is often traced back to a negative spirit and the only solution for parents seems therefore to be the estrangement and abandonment of disabled children.
In view of this dramatic situation, the Balou Center welcomes about 200 disabled and abandoned children from Balou and the outlying areas of Lumumbashi. It is an organized structure which, with a primary school, laboratory-game spaces and a small hospital for less serious diseases, provides assistance to disabled children both psychologically and on a social and educational level. Aleimar has been supporting the Center for years, providing medicines and medical equipment for the hospital as well as supporting some of the disabled children hosted.
The “Energy for Balou” project aims to respond to an urgent need of the Center: the energy supply. In Balou, as in many villages in the Congo and Africa, the electricity grid is available for less than an hour a day and, as the old diesel generator has recently failed, the Center is experiencing significant operational and management problems. In particular, the hospital and the dormitories are the most affected areas, because they house children with epilepsy and sleepwalking, who cannot remain in the dark.
In a context where it is essential to uproot the considerable use of traditional biomass and of imported energy sources, Aleimar is working to install a photovoltaic system with interconnected modules. The plant, with a total power of 15 kw, will be able to ensure energy and light to the whole Center, reduce the arboreal deforestation for the production of coal and diminish the high costs for the purchase of fuel.
Goals of the project
- Ensure the lighting and the electrical power required to maintain the quality of services offered as well as the safety and protection of all children who attend the center;
- Promote the use of clean, less expensive and renewable energy sources, with a view to environmental sustainability.
Beneficiaries of the project
- 200 children and teenagers between 5 and 30, with mental and physical disabilities, from Balou and the surrounding areas.
What you can do
- $25: will support the installation work;
- $50: will contribute to the purchase of a 250Wp photovoltaic module;
- $100: will contribute to the purchase of a wired electrical panel;
- $200: will pay for a month of workforce.