The project included the installation of solar panels in many Salesian centers, a “Training of the Trainers” program in many of the province's TVET colleges, a solar energy awareness campaign in schools through leaflets and pamphlets, national-level symposiums and discussions on the topic of renewable energy, in addition to the establishment of Solar Energy Departments in the four technical schools run by the Salesians in Ethiopia, namely: Adwa, Mekanissa, Dilla and Gambella.
From 22 January to 02 February, a two-week training program for all the federal TVET teachers of Ethiopia was held. The training was entirely coordinated by Br. Christof Baum, SDB, and two “electric” teachers from Don Bosco Adwa TVET College. The training program saw the active participation of 27 representatives from a number of regions throughout Ethiopia. The program aimed at providing the electric teachers of the TVET centers tools and know-how to enable them to teach solar energy technology to their students on their own. It also focused on giving the students the know-how to start their own businesses and generate income via the installation, repair and maintenance of solar power systems, a sector that is quickly gaining momentum in Ethiopia.
The content of the course included topics such as renewable and non-renewable energy, the effects of CO2 on climate change, electrical energy generation in Ethiopia, the situation of electricity in Ethiopia's rural areas, and more. The course was highly appreciated by all participants who thanked the Salesians of Don Bosco for taking such initiatives and making it possible and accessible for such a large group of participants.
The training is extremely relevant for Ethiopia; a good majority of people still live in rural areas and there is, of course, the need to literally step outside into the darkness of the evening... with light. Thanks to the use of small solar lanterns, people would get enough light without smoke or such-related health issues. With solar power installations, people are also able to recharge their mobile phone batteries and other gadgets without having to travel to the next larger village to do so.
The project proceeds until the end of 2018. So much has been accomplished in such a short time. Much more is yet to come, but the Salesians are happy to be part of making the country go increasingly organic and a partner in implementing energy-saving measures.