In many villages around Maisha Centre, poverty has been a setback to students who are given assignments to finish at home. For these families, once it is nightfall, students will stop reading and doing the assignments because of lack of light. This has been a result of parents not able to afford to buy paraffin to light their tin lamps. “So they try to do what they can before dark. But it is a problem to those who go to school because they come home with assignments to work on which they have to do at night,” says Joshua Ouko, the Maisha Project manager.
However, where there is a will, there is way. To the Maisha kids, things are bright because of the solar powered lighting system, which was installed in June 2011. Since Maisha is located at the center of many villages, the kids have the privilege to come there for their studies and assignments till late in the night. “This is definitely going to improve on their performance at school since they get more hours of revision without any worries of paraffin as it used to be before,” adds Mr Ouko. Some of the Maisha kids who live far from the centre and can’t make it at night have solar charged lamps to help them with their studies at home.
The current school term ends this week, so many Maisha kids are expected to do their holiday studies at the Centre, especially the night preps before they go to bed. “We are a happy lot. This is something we have to appreciate. It is nice and we are now able to read throughout,” says Anne Achieng’. Mr Joshua Ouko says that this is a clear show of great passion the kids have for education. “It is also a deep desire to achieve their academic dreams. I wish them all the best,” he asserts.
We at Maisha thank the donors who have made the lighting possible and give a special shout out to Michael Votaw for working so hard on making the solar panels and lighting a reality. You are lighting the future for the children of Maisha!