The Offa village community have built their own school in 2007 but have never had electricity. The village is remote and the national grid is out of reach. Solar Panels can provide the school and the community with the needed electricity to have light in the library and to use a variety of devices.
Solar Panel for the Offa School Library
Our local contact and volunteer Ashenafi proposed the purchase of Dufsar Solar Panel sets. One Dufsar set will provide the Offa School Library with 3 light bulbs plus a connector to connect different electric devices. The Dufsar Solar Panel is locally available, costs only € 350,- and is very easy to install and to use.
Photos left: Dufsar Solar Panel set. Right: Installing the solar panel on the roof of the school.
Fundraising October 2017
In August we started fundraising at the Pifworld platform. We raised € 155,- which was not enough for one panel. Marjon vd Berg, one of our Liqa School sponsors, asked her guests during her Birthday Party to donate to this project. She collected an amazing amount of money!
Left: Marjon, donor of the solar panel. Right: Installation of the 3 Dufsar lamps in the library and a USB connector for charging mobile phones.
More solar panels or cementing floors?
When we discussed the possibility of purchasing more solar panels the school came up with another priority. For the time being the light in the library satisfied their needs. A big issue are dusty floors in 4 new classrooms. During lessons the children breathe the dust which is very unhealthy. The school suggested to use the rest of the money for cementing the classroom floors. We agreed, read more at the project page Cementing Floors at Offa Primary School.
Visiting the School in November 2017
November 2017 we visited the Offa School with a group of five. First we visited the Library to see the solar panel. School teachers expressed their thankfulness. We handed over many items from our home country that are useful for a school, like pencils, notebooks, plays, balls, books etc.
Celebrating the Solar panels with music and singing.
About Damot Offa Community
Damot Offa is a remote village of 800 rural families in southern Ethiopia. All of the inhabitants in Damot Offa are poor farmers and the area is known for its frequent shortage of rain and low productivity of land for its over-farming. The economic status of the society is very week. Though the Offa village community are marginalized farmer families, the struggle to change the future of their children is high. They believe that education is the only way to change life of their children. For that end, the community in Damot Offa is dedicated for change. The community exerts all efforts to improve education, but the provisioning of electricity goes beyond their capacity.
About Offa School
Damot Offa School is one of the overcrowded schools in its region. In the academic year 2016-17 the total student population is 1532. The number of male and female students is almost equivalent. The school accommodates students in a morning and an afternoon shift and has two cycles: grade one to four and grade five to eight. The school is making good progress in the last couples of years and the intake capacity of the school is increasing from year to year. The school and the nearby community are working so hard to achieve the goal that no child will miss school in his school age.
When it comes to infrastructure and academic performance of the students, the school has four up to level furnished buildings where class rooms, library, laboratories and staff office is distributed in each building. The school has one water harvesting tank donated by ISOB foundation, and separate toilets for female and male students built by the community with the help of ISOB. The school has four laboratory rooms for science and innovation center. The curriculum specifies that the media of communication is English for students in grade five to eight. Students are expected to learn all subjects in English and attend computer laboratories. Here comes the biggest challenge OF Damot Offa School: LACK OF ELECTRICITY.
Need for Electricity
Total absences of electric power in Damot Offa school causes a lot of challenges and HAS A huge negative impact in the teaching learning process. Generally, the absence of electricity in the School is highly affecting quality of education, particularly in the second cycle, where more focus is given to science subjects like Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, English and ICT. High attention is given towards practical activities in science labs for the mentioned subjects. But electricity is the bottleneck! Students of the second cycle are unable to see and touch a computer and they waste their time after school for the reason they cannot go to laboratories.
Regarding teachers in Offa school, the first cycle has 12 and the second cycle has 13 teachers. Teachers who teach Mathematics, Physics, Biology, Chemistry, English and ICT are highly worried for the students’ future for they are not taking any practical class in their junior class to grasp the basic practical concepts which are a foundation for their advanced courses in high school.
Accomplished Projects at Damot Offa School
The ISOB Foundation has helped the Damot Offa Community since they have established their own school in 2007.
- Innovation and Science Center at Offa Primary School, 2014-15
The establishment of the Innovation and Science Center comprises three new rooms: one for the improved library, one for a new physics lab and one for a new the Math and Geography lab. Old and broken wooden doors and windows were replaced by strong and safer metal doors and windows. The beneficiaries of this project are 25 teachers and 1249 children of which 687 males and 562 females. Over time all of the community children will benefit.
The establishment of the new Science Center at Offa Primary School was accomplished in April 2015. This project had been implemented with a donation of Foundation "Wees een Kans" in the Netherlands.
Project Objectives that are met:
- Improved overall structure of the Offa school.
- Established innovation and Science center.
- Replacement the wooden doors and windows with metal sheets.
- Increased participation of female students to go to school every day.
- Decreased attrition rate of students.
- All classroom in the school have cemented floors which has resulted in healthier children and teachers.
- The library and laboratory are now well organized.
Impressions of the Innovation and Science Center:
New Maths, Geography and Physics labs.
The new science centre got cemented floors and metal sheet windows.
The new Library got new furniture.
The library received needed exam books of ISOB representative Anneke.
You can download the final report here.
- Clean water and new Toilets for a Healthy School, 2011-12
left: ISOB helped the Offa School to install a Water Harvesting System of 10.0000 liter. Our chairman bought the tank during his visit in April 2012. The water tank was funded with a € 2000 donation of the Village School (Dorpsschool) in Bathmen, the Netherlands.
right: ISOB provided funds for the construction of standardized sanitation. The community constructed a building with 8 toilets, 3 for girls and 3 for boys and 2 for the teachers. The provisioning of water and proper toilets has enhanced the health situation at the school considerable.
- Library and school improvements, 2008-09
ISOB's first involvement with the community was to help with the set up of a library in the new community built school and the furnishing of the classrooms. We provided books and funds for the purchase of chairs and tables, for book shelves for the library and for painting the walls of the school.