Little did Joe Scholz, a retired teacher volunteering on the 2013 Tanzania Trip in February, realize that his help with building solar reading lights would spark a feasibility study among the teachers and schools in the Kilimanjaro Region of Tanzania. Joe offered his technical and teaching expertise to show students, in two schools, how to build solar reading lights from local discarded water bottles and expired solar garden lights (imported from Canada). Even though Joe was alarmed at the lack of learning resources he was also impressed with the resourcefulness and enthusiasm of the students and staff of Makomu Secondary School. Joe said:“Even the cook and a visiting parent got involved in the building spree in the teacher’s staff room. We built at least 30 lamps the first day. I do not know exactly how many more were built after that but I left them enough supplies to build 30 to 60 more lamps.”
Joe has shared his experience with fellow teachers and as a result has generated more Canadian interest in helping in future solar reading light projects. This kind of volunteer help and interest has led to the schools in Tanzania planning a feasibility study to determine the need for solar reading lights and the sustainability of a solar light building business. The ABCD contact in Tanzania, Sebastian Masaro said:
“Yes, some teachers show their interest on building the solar lights and do the research on it. I’m happy too to hear that even some teachers in Canada also wants to involve on solar light. I will be informing you on whatever will come out here!”
It’s volunteers like Joe Scholz and others that can make a sustained change in Tanzania to eradicate poverty through education. Thank you to all volunteers!