In 2015, TSO partners – Kinda Seydou (l’Association Meilleur Monde de Pa), Val Robins and Rosanne Yaskowich – completed a project to light up a school in Pa (a remote village in rural Burkina Faso) using solar panels and rechargeable batteries, as well as providing solar lanterns for student use at home. TSO team members acted as consultants on this project.
On the Canadian side, Val and Rosanne had been coordinating the project for over five years in partnership with the students, parents and teachers at Calgary-based Strathcona-Tweedsmuir School (STS). From the Burkina side, Kinda (TSO’s Oak Leader) served as project manager on behalf of both STS and the village of Pa.
STS and Pa school were former participants in Stace Wills and Dan Rickard’s “Fire and Ice” collaborative project series (through their former employer Elluminate Inc.), which commenced in 2009. The STS/Pa partnership progressed over the years to include a variety of development projects, including the distribution of mosquito nets and the supply of school desks, as well as student-to-student collaborative activities, such as pen pal writing and web conferences.
Stemming from a needs assessment by local Pa officials, the project’s goal was to extend the available hours of student learning and help improve the overall quality of education in Pa. Based on a recent site inspection by TSO’s Stace and Dan in October 2017, we are pleased to report that the solar installation is fully operational and in excellent working order. The installation was celebrated in a grand ceremony that took place on October 1, 2017 with Stace and Dan in attendance, along with TSO’s local partners, the Mayor of Pa, and as various local dignitaries.