Friday, 31 May 2013

Parents report improved results as solar lanterns offer students more time to study

When solar lanterns were introduced to songambele maarifa centre and communities informed of their importance, many people have realized a lot of benefits and praised the initiative citing that, it will go further to improve their livelihoods since they will be able to save a lot of money they used to buy paraffin and use the same to attend to other family needs.
Mr. Ainea Mudachi, the village executive officer (VEO) songambele B village could not hide his joy as he narrated how the solar lanterns have triggered anxiety among community members and how it has enabled his children have more time to study, a fact he attributed to their improvement in school.
Mudachis sons during evening studies.
 Photo by Sadock
Mr. Mudachi said that, his four shildren, three in songambele primary and one in Milimani secondary school were able to improve on their school performance since they could comfortably study for longer hours and in bright clean light that was not straining their eyes and free from smoke as compared to the time they used kerosene lamps which produced a lot of smoke which posed health risks, and blurred light  that strained their eyes and needed a lot of fuel to run them.
“I have noticed a lot of improved exam performance for my children since I started using solar power in my family. My children can now learn at any time of night and for longer hours as the solar lantern I have can support two lighting systems for 8 hours. My daughter who is a form four candidate has been using the opportunity to prepare for her national exams later in the year… Thanks for the technology”.
“I have been able to save a lot of money that I used to fuel two kerosene lamps which consumed fuel worth Tsh 1200 daily. The solar lanterns need direct sun light only to recharge, a resource that is free of charge…” he added.
Similar sentiments were echored by Neema Pearson during a follow-up visit where she explained how she has been able to save lots money by using the solar lanterns. She has been able to use the money to meet her personal needs.
"I have been using solar lantern for the last three months and have realised alot of benefits including; savings from money I used to buy fuel, clean light energy free from smoke thus health benefits. thanks to ALIn and DONET for the technology." she said.

Neema during an interview on solar lantern usage.
 Photo by Sadock
According to the reports at the maarifa centre, many community members flow in to enquire on solar lantern usage and prices so they can buy them for use at their families. Interestingly, another category of enquirers need to know much about wind energy that is also used to power the maarifa centre and are willing to have it installed to their homesteads so they can supply power to their neighbours.

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Free ict training skills stirs young lady to volunteer her services

Hellaena  Tayari, a form four leaver born 18 years ago in Songambele b village never thought one day she will find computers being used in her home village being aware that, computers are expensive and needed a lot of power to run them a resource which was not available at her village. Hellena went through secondary education at Mbezi-inn located in Dar-Es-Salaam which is in urban setting and could just see computers being used and never thought she will one day be a computer guru. 

“I could see other people use computers but I had phobia for them… I feared even to touch them and never thought I will have an opportunity to use them…” said Hellaena
Hellaena assisting ICT students during their practice session. Photo by Sadock
When Somgambele Maarifa centre was established in November 2012, she was lucky to be among the first lot to benefit from Free ICT training. Her excitement could be noticed all through the training period and could ask questions on areas that she couldn’t understand well according to Mr Sadock, the ICT trainer at the Maarifa centre.

“She could stop me from moving to the next point if she didn’t understand the first one… I could notice her curiosity from the way she was asking her questions…” Said Sadock.

Hellena completed her computer studies three months later and she is now proud because what she could see other people do, she is able to do it even better. She says that, she is now able to comfortably work with the five packages she has learned from the ICT class.

Students and their trainer during class session. Photo by Samuel
“I am now happy since I know all computer basics and can work with Ms Word, Excel and PowerPoint, Thanks for the free ICT training…” added Hellaena

Her efforts were rewarded when the advisory committee saw her fit to serve as a community knowledge facilitator (CKF) at the maarifa centre among many youths who had applied for the position and she has gone even further to help in computer training among other duties at the maarifa centre.
Her appeal is to have more machines and have internet connection at the centre since a lot of community members are interested to join the training.