During the 2019 Lenten season, we’ll share the work of the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur from around the world. We hope you in turn will share their work with your family, friends, students and faculty by email or by posting each Lenten Snapshot on a bulletin board or social media.
Educating for life is the mission of the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur. This calling is present in everything the Sisters do across the world. It is of particular importance in Congo at our photovoltaic sites. In our final 2019 Lenten Snapshot we focus on the self-sufficiency of these systems. Sister Evelyne leads the Photovoltaic Project Sustainability Plan in Congo.
Photovoltaic Project Sustainability Plan
During the initial phases of developing the photovoltaic sites, local needs and alternatives were identified, and construction of basic systems followed. Equipment and other materials were purchased and labor was contracted to complete the work. Now, after fifteen years’ experience building photovoltaic and clean water infrastructures, the Sisters are focusing on long-term, in-country support to maintain the sites and achieve self-sufficiency.
In Africa in general and in Congo specifically, however, there is a lack of trained technical and managerial personnel. As a result, our Sisters are developing a support organization that will keep water and electrical power systems operating properly, manage the facilities as well as develop plans for new systems to handle future needs.
This organization will include a trained Congolese Sister along with a technician. Technical training, physical workshops, maintenance programs and partnerships with affiliate organizations will enhance and support their core efforts to supply electricity, clean water and internet access in the villages where our Sisters live and serve.
In just 15 short years, our Sisters’ clean water and photovoltaic projects have altered the lives of thousands. Villagers are gaining access to clean drinking water, adequate health care, up-to-date education resources and economic opportunities.
For villages, schools and medical facilities, this means electrical power for water pumps, purifiers, filtration components, medical equipment, lights, computers and Internet access. Maintaining and sustaining the clean water and photovoltaic sites operated by the Sisters are necessary for continued improvement in quality of life, health and well being in struggling remote villages.
|At Kinsaku, workers construct the steel support foundation for the solar panels.|
|Electricians connect the inverter for transferring electricity from solar panels to batteries.|
|Sister checks the connection between solar panels and inverter.|
During the Lenten season, we are most grateful for your support in helping our Sisters provide clean water and educate for life.