As an intern for EFO this summer, I had the rewarding experience to work on a solar energy installation at the Ebert Kakua School for the Deaf in Bo, Sierra Leone. For this project, EFO partnered with the American-based Deeper Missions missionary group, who were also providing sign language training for the school teachers and deaf-culture awareness meetings for members of the community.
In just three days, the solar system was built practically from scratch to provide light and power for the three school buildings and a water pump. Preston Kemeny, my fellow intern, and I worked with EFO technician Idrissa Tarawally to rewire the buildings and make the necessary electrical connections for the inside lights, security lights, and power outlets. Other EFO staff, members of the Deeper Missions project team, and members of the school community worked on various other parts of the installation, such as building the mounting fixture for the solar panels and digging the trenches for the cables between the buildings. It was amazing to see not only the amount of work that went into the project but also how quickly we went from arriving at the site to turning on the lights. With their new solar energy system, the staff and students of the Ebert Kakua School for the Deaf will enjoy increased security from the outside lights, the ability to hold classes at night, and excellent visibility during those night classes or dark overcast days which will allow for easier communication.