“We are at peace”
This was the first thing Rose said when I asked what difference solar power has made. Rose is the manager of Cheryl’s Children’s Home, an orphanage in Nairobi, where 73 children live aged between 3 and 12 and a further 130 receive schooling through the foster care programme.
In the past if there was a power cut in this part of Nairobi, or worse still they had their power suddenly cut off because they couldn’t keep up their electricity payments, the children at the orphanage would be afraid. “Now there is no fear because whatever happens we have light”.
Rose went on to say what they no longer have.
Now money they save from the use of solar power can be used for medication, food, or water.
“We don’t have lack of water because we have to pay their electricity bill”.
“We don’t have lack of food because we have to pay their electricity bill”.
Solar power provides much more than light. With the money they now save it provides water, food and medicine. But it provides even more as I soon realised.
As I finished my visit I met three children and able to ask them questions. The question that finally got them to relax was“What football team do you support?”! I then asked what they wanted to be when they grew up. The answers: a newsreader (Liverpool), a journalist (Manchester United) and a pilot (Chelsea).
I learned something very important from my visit. In addition to providing cost savings which helps to run the orphanage,solar power has taken away children’s fears and allowed them to dream.