We are delighted to share a blog written by student Sara Hoyer from Windhoek International School, who is part of a team delivering a Global Goals project for the 2019-20 Global Goals Competition.
Their project is among over 957 social action projects currently running as part of the GSL movement and we are excited to be supporting them to design and lead positive social change in their community.
Namibia is a country in southern Africa, with a lot of sunshine and many people who don’t have access to a good education. In our project, we have worked with Fidel Castro Primary School in Katutura. Many students there don‘t have access to electricity at home and do their homework with light from candles, or have to hurry before the sun sets. We received funds from our sponsor, Helmsman Group, to buy 30 solar lamps. We met with 30 students and explained to them how to use the lamps, and why it is important to promote solar energy in Namibia.
After a couple of weeks, we have received very interesting feedback from some of the students. They all agree that their solar lamp has helped them a lot in studying and in everyday chores. On average, they use their lamp for 2 hours a day for schoolwork, lighting the house and daily chores. The lamps proved helpful for them and their families, and some noted an improvement in their work ethic and studies.
One of the students, Ndaitavela, said that the lamp has become a treasure in her home as everyone gets to use it to their benefit and as her parents are not employed, they do not get money to have electricity in the house. Ireen, another student, uses the solar lamp to complete chores and to take care of her hygiene. She believes that the lamp has helped her improve her grades as she is now able to complete her homework at her own pace and not rushing through it while she is competing with the sun. She says the lamp will continue helping her in the future as she has no electricity in the area she resides in and this opportunity will therefore help to improve her quality of work.
Participating in the competition has helped us develop many useful skills and we have learned to work effectively as a team. Obviously, there were many issues and challenges to overcome, such as finding a sponsor and the right solar lamp. The biggest problem was probably the closing of schools in Windhoek, which has somewhat prevented our planned course of action in the past few weeks, but we learned to communicate online and focused more on promoting our project through social media.
Hulda said about her experience: “I have learnt to value and appreciate what I have in life because not everyone is privileged to have the essential things that they need. Helping others is something that has to be part of us. That it is not always easy to accomplish a certain goal but through hard work, determination and teamwork we can do it”
Iuze agrees, and adds: “‘Through this experience, I was met with a more patient and determined side of myself. After all, it had not been an easy journey, but it was all worth the smile on the children’s faces whilst receiving the solar lamps.“
Helena also thinks that she has learned a lot in the past months: ‘’I have learnt how a team should be cohesive. Everybody should have the same intentions and goals and open up their own set of ideas. It’s not all about getting somewhere, but building something from those set of ideas. Moreover communication and determination plays a pivotal role in shaping and completing a team’s goal’’
The Next Chapter
Since there was a lockdown in Windhoek for a few weeks, and schools have been closed since mid-March, we weren’t able to do everything we wanted to do. We hope to meet the students of Fidel Castro School again next school year, to teach them more about climate change and see if they have anything else to report about the solar lamps.
I would definitely encourage other teams to get involved in a project about climate action, solar energy, or education. I think that climate change is a major threat to all of us, and we must take it seriously. It might not seem like much, but every person counts, and even the smallest project can make a significant change, and impact the community. If you get involved in a project like this, you will feel what an effect you have on our future, and I can promise you that it will be worth all the effort and challenges.
The 2019-20 GSL Global Goals Competition is now open and runs until June 2020. If you belong to one of the 700+ teams of students currently delivering a social action project as part of the competition we would love to hear from you and feature your blog and project photos on our website to inspire others.