PROJECT OVERVIEW | DURISSY SCHOOLS - PETIT GOAVE, HAITI
Situated at the heart of the Caribbean, Haiti - known as the “Pearl of the Antilles’ - is renowned for creole culture and the country’s impressive natural beauty as an island of mountains. Unfortunately, Haiti’s location makes the country highly vulnerable to natural disasters, including frequent hurricanes, flooding and earthquakes. Since the catastrophic magnitude seven earthquake in 2010, Haiti has undergone a long rebuilding process and slow economic growth. The development of renewable energy infrastructure, both public and private, is central to Haiti’s rebuilding strategy and particularly important to rural areas outside the capital of Port-au-Prince.
To address ongoing climatic hazards, many parts of Haiti are turning to project partners to build resilient infrastructure, including off-grid solar. Twende Solar (Twende), a Portland-based nonprofit operated and supported by solar PV industry professionals, bridges the gap between renewable energy experts and underserved populations around the world. Attracting the best of the PV industry, Twende leverages its volunteers’ expertise, connections, and philanthropic spirit to install high-quality solar PV systems at an affordable cost for its partner organizations.
This project will partner with Educate Haiti, an American nonprofit whose mission is focused on educating two generations of Haitians by fostering human capital through education. In the past few years, Educate Haiti has constructed two new schools, one primary and one high school structure, and have enrolled more than 400 students in a rural area called Durissy, adjacent the town of Petit Goave. The majority of families in Durissy experience extreme poverty, and there is a high illiteracy rate among most adults. Households consist of simple brick room structures and metal roofs with the families surviving from yard farms.
Due to a lack of energy infrastructure, school days in Durissy often end in the early afternoon when their unlit and uncooled classrooms become too hot to safely hold classes. This project will provide the high school and primary school structures with a renewable source of electricity, facilitating the installation of lights and fans. In the future, it is hoped that classrooms can benefit from laptops computers to augment educational activities, all charged using solar energy.
Make a difference in the lives of the students of Durissy, Haiti, by bringing solar to their school campus and empowering generations of learning on the power of collaboration and renewable energy.
Let’s go solar, together!
PROJECT TIMELINE + INSTALLATION DETAILS
Twende volunteers will install two systems totaling approximately 24kW and supplemented by 72 kWh of battery storage. One 6kW array will be installed on the recently renovated primary school, and a larger 18kW solar array will sit atop the high school building located less than a kilometer away. Based on the site logistics and system size, Twende believes the entire system installation, training and community engagement can be completed in less than a week. In addition, project volunteers are invited to participate in a post-installation cultural excursions and sightseeing. At present, the sample installation schedule is as follows:
Day 1 (Tentatively planned for Friday, August 23rd 2019*) - Travel to Haiti. Lodging is planned for a hostel-style flat in Port-au-Prince with dinner on the town.
Day 2 - Travel to Durissy. site orientation
Day 3 - 5 - Installation
Day 6 - Training and commissioning. Teams will perform training with site staff and will host educational activities with students. System will be turned on in time for a celebration and night-time feast with dancing.
Day 7 - Tourist day 1. Volunteers will take a day trip to Kokoye beach via ground transportation to the coast and boat ride to the cove. Lodging is planned for either camping on the beach or a dormitory-style cottage nearby.
Day 8 - Tourist day 2. Volunteers are invited to enjoy the beach, nearby hikes, and possible distillery tour in the morning before traveling by chartered van back to Port-au-Prince. Lodging is planned for a hostel-style flat near the airport. Volunteers are invited to experience the city’s nightlife and dancing at nearby discotheques.
Day 9 (Tentatively scheduled for Saturday, August 31st 2019) - Return flights.
Twende is in search of 8 solar ambassadors with experience or interest in overseas solar development to join our leadership team of 4 volunteers to empower Haitian education.
$800 trip fee paid to Twende Solar to cover all in-country lodging, food, cultural excursions during the install and ground trip transportation between Port-au-Prince city/airport and the project site during the scheduled trip dates.
Volunteers are responsible for their own airfare to and from Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Current prices are around $800 round trip.
Volunteers must raise $1,500 by August 23rd, 2019 to support Twende’s global electrification work. Twende Solar will provide volunteers with marketing materials, ideas and a peer-to-peer fundraising platform to aide their efforts. Any gap in fundraising goals will need to be made up by the volunteer before the start of the project.
No advanced visa is needed for U.S. Passport holders. A stamp upon entry will suffice but you must have 6 months validity at time of entry. Check here if you have a non US passport, then visit your country’s site to confirm.
May 9th - Project announcement; Twende Solar Fundraising event at Mt. Tabor Brewing
May 31st - Volunteer applications due
June 7th - Selected volunteers notified, trip fee due June 15th
Jun/ Jul/ Aug - Volunteer team meetings on second Monday evening of the month.
June 14th - Aug 24th - Peer-2-Peer Fundraising Campaign.
Late Aug - Tentative installation dates (approx 10 days)
Sept - Nov - Project recap, press release sent to media, and video premiere event
*Oct 30 - Nov 7 - Backup installation dates
*Due to hurricane season and recent periods of political instability in the region, Twende requires all volunteers make available a backup installation date. Twende will make every effort to monitor the situation and safety of the proposed project