Colin Bashant Memorial Fund

Donations to the Colin Bashant Memorial Fund can be made by using the PayPal button at the bottom of this page.

With your donations we will be installing solar power at a remote school in Chitas, Guatemala.

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The objective is to provide 600 rural villagers with access to electricity and a computer lab to reduce the economic and social isolation of their growing population.

Install 245 Watts of solar power and a small computer lab at Chitas Public School. These activities are accompanied with appropriate training in solar technology and curriculum development for the teachers to teach children computer skills.

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600 rural villagers will directly benefit from the publically accessible charge station at the school which enables them to charge cellphones and lanterns while their children are in class. Solar electricity will also enable the school to host evening meetings for community groups, increasing nighttime productivity in the home and in a public space.

150 children who attend school at Chitas will have improved lighting to read by.

School administrators and teachers with new access to electricity will improve their productivity in children’s education by accessing more educational materials and expand learning media by playing music and recordings in the classroom.

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This will support education by electrifying the Chitas School using solar energy. Solar power is the most affordable solution for this isolated community to access electricity.

This project will train 20 men and women community leaders in Chitas in a Circuits & Solar workshop that teaches the theory and technical skills of hooking-up and maintaining a solar power system. This training makes it affordable for community members to purchase small-scale home solar systems by installing it themselves.

This project addresses the community need for basic electricity to power lights and communications technology such as cell phones and laptop computers.

Needs were identified by the community themselves who approached ATC regarding their community’s complete lack of electricity and inability to afford costs of extending grid electricity to their town.  The School Principal, Board of Directors and the Parent’s Association formally requested basic improvements to the school.

Because Chitas is across a river from the nearest electrical connection, and the community income is seasonal due to agriculture, monthly payments for grid-power is likely to fail. Setting up a solar power system on the school and training parents and community leaders how to install and maintain solar power will demonstrate the feasibility of solar on the family level. Families will see the benefits of quality lighting and decide to invest in family lighting systems when they have funds from the harvest.   By inviting families to invest in their home solar systems, the technology is sure to be used well and cared for. By training community members and school administration in Circuits & Solar they will understand how to maintain the school’s system to the benefit of all.

The School administrators and Board of Directors will provide a document for their sustainability plan of maintaining the school system. In other communities, this is handled by charging a nominal fee for use of the community charge station, to fund replacement parts and new batteries after 4-6 years.

Installing 245 Watts of Solar on the Public School will provide 600 community members access to charge cell phones and lanterns and 150 students access to enriched classes.

It will also sensitize the community about the solar power solution and create a pathway for families to purchase affordable solar products for their homes.  The Circuits & Solar workshop and small-scale solar kits are provided by a local social enterprise, Soluciones Energeticas Apropiadas, started-up by ATC. A regional solar saleswoman will be present to present her products and create relationships with the community and the school to provide access to replacement parts and family solar power systems.

Circuits & Solar workshops serve as community outreach and technical training on the topic of solar power systems. They will be taught by our solar expert at Soluciones Energeticas Apropiadas (SEA), Jose Ordonez, who was licensed in solar installations in Costa Rica and has taught this Introduction to Solar workshop to over 300 people in three years.