Ray of hope
Access to education for 900 children was at-risk for the northern Lebanese village of Bakhoun due to the loss of electricity and power generation.
The efforts of UNDP Lebanon that launched a crowdfunding campaign prevented the foreclosure of the facilities and implemented long term measures to support the children.
In the rural areas of Lebanon, educational facilities suffer from energy shortages owing to excessive blackouts, high diesel cost, scarcity of fuel, and high maintenance costs. The Bakhoun Technical school has been using diesel generators requiring high electricity demand but also creating sound and air pollution. The associated costs with running such generators had forced the cancelation of practical classes prompting children to spend more time in the playground than in the classroom. In addition, the constant exposure to air pollution put the health of children at risk.
The crowdfunding campaign “Ray of hope” was launched on the https://livelovebeirut.com/ site. It sought to supply and install a small-scale Solar Photovoltaic power plant consisting of a Photovoltaic generator, inverter, fuel save controller, data logger, and auxiliary equipment at the Bakhoun School and provide training for the school management for the operation and maintenance of the installed system. With initial goal of raising of $20,000, the campaign doubled their objective with over $40,000, allowing for the new system to be installed and positively impacting the environment.
The contributions to the campaign allowed the installation of a small-scale Solar Photovoltaic power plant covering around 60% of the school's power consumption, reducing around 16 tons of CO2 emissions per year. It also enabled the school management to save up to$4600 annually, permitting the educational facility to keep running, and granting healthy schooling conditions for the 900 students. This project has also served as model for the design and management of small-scale Photovoltaic projects that will be considered to further develop green energy technology in Bakhoun and nearby municipalities.