Oscar, a 10th grade student living in Uganda, didn’t always grow up attending school.
He had no hope of going to school after he turned 10. The only free school in the area didn’t go past the fourth grade and although she tried her hardest, his grandmother couldn’t afford the school fees to send him to another school.
“Being an orphan child and living with my grandmother who didn’t have help made my life very miserable,” he said.
His grandmother struggled to provide enough food for Oscar and the other children in her care even though she worked hard to take care of them.
Food at his grandmother’s house was provided on a “first come, first served” basis and he would often miss meals if he was late and have to wait until the next day for food.
Oscar also had one pair of pants and one shirt he would wear every day.
“I had no shoes, not even sandals, for my feet yet I had to walk on rough ground and take care of animals during the day for my late grandfather,” he said.
“My life was very challenging and didn’t set me up to grow and develop well,” he said.
When Oscar came to Children of the Nations, he changed his life. He had more clothes to wear, shoes for his feet, and food to eat every day. He also started attending school and thrived.
But there was one problem that got in the way of his studies and school.
The school’s electricity came from a costly generator. It was spotty and inconsistent and would sometimes run out of fuel, bringing students’ lessons to an abrupt end.
Oscar remembers those days on campus well. Reading at night or going to the restrooms outside was difficult because students couldn’t see clearly at night in the dark.
But because of your generosity, in 2018, solar power was installed on campus, and it changed everyone’s lives drastically.
“On the day we received the first solar installation on campus, it was so exciting for us,” said Oscar. “We stayed up late telling stories to each other that night.”
Not only did this new solar power installation make it possible for students and staff to have consistent access to electricity, but this change also helps students do better in school. Now, there’s more time for studying and learning after the sun goes down.
“Electricity on campus made my life easy because we could do our homework at night and didn’t have to rush through our assignments before the lights would turn off,” said Oscar.
Oscar even leads group discussions at night with his classmates which would have been impossible to do without the reliability of solar power.
“Walking on the school campus and cleaning our rooms at night is easy because of electricity,” he said.
Solar power is a clean, reliable energy source that will provide power for his campus for years. With the new system, the annual cost of energy is reduced by more than 90 percent, cutting operation costs and freeing funds for other opportunities.
An added benefit of solar power for Oscar? He can now explore his musical hobby: the keyboard!
“I was able to learn how to play a keyboard because of the electricity in the main hall where I plug it in,” he said.
Because of you, renewable power will help students achieve their dreams for years to come!