Light Up a Life

In the far South of Goa, up in the mountains of the Western Ghats, Father George (one of life’s true humanitarians) of the Catholic organisation, Dom Bosco, has been striving to put solar power into the villages of Goa’s original tribal communities. The villagers live in traditional mud brick buildings with cow dung floors, battle the monsoon rains every year, are basically self-sufficient and have only recently cut (with their own hands and only passable with 4x4s) a proper road down to the main Forestry Commission road.

The children now attend school in the nearest town by means of a three-mile trek down the mountain to the bus-stop (and then onto school itself) and back. But when they finally get home and settle down to their homework they are, more often than not, plunged into darkness as the power fails. The kids soon fall behind at school and a cycle of disadvantage continues.

As part of a wider ‘Watershed’ scheme promoted by the Goan Government that sought to promote ways to harness the monsoon waters and raise the groundwater levels in order to increase the rice harvests, Father George piggy-backed his solar power project into the villages.

He oversaw the design in the Dom Bosco workshops of a compact battery power supply charged by a solar panel and giving three outputs to CF light fittings, as well as training villagers in their maintenance.  The kids can now still study when the power clicks off and their mums and dads, coincidentally, can still carry on life.

Helping Elsewhere, again with all your help, has made a real difference by funding their introduction into many individual houses of these villages.