Eight Members of the CHP Family in Haiti are Soon-To-Be Solar Technicians
Progress is made every day on the new school building under construction on St. Paul’s campus. As the building goes up, preparations are underway for the final phase of the expansion of St. Paul’s School—a new solar grid that will provide a more affordable (and renewable!) energy source to power the classrooms. Last week a group of CHP-supported scholarship students finished a month-long training to become solar technicians with certifications to monitor and maintain the grid. There is also potential for the students to eventually start small businesses in the area with the goal of bringing more solar power to Petit Trou in the long-term.
Six residents of Petit Trou and two others with strong ties to the community received scholarships to attend the training, which occurred at a professional school in Port-au-Prince run by the St. Luke Foundation.
The eight students (pictured left) stayed in Port-au-Prince to attend the training, which was an intensive month-long course that included practical training, hands-on learning, and site visits for existing solar projects in Port-au-Prince. Solar power is seen as an innovative, cost-effective, and environmentally-sound solution to Haiti’s lack of electricity. Haiti does not have a reliable electric grid and relies heavily on diesel generators for power; the St. Paul’s School campus only uses power for a handful of hours a day.
When asked what it was like to participate in the training, Joseph Alvyns, a CHP-supported translator and driver who helped organize the details of the training, shared that he and his peers greatly enjoyed the practical skills they were learning and would eventually be putting to use. “So far, we’ve learned how to estimate a solar grid installation budget, and how to identify and operate different types of generators and batteries.”
Joseph continued, “The most enjoyable and surprising part of the experience is learning how to use all these different mechanical parts that you always see, but don’t always know the role of.”
Petit Trou is excited to welcome the newly-minted technicians back home! We can’t wait to share more about their work with you once the final phase of the St. Paul’s campus expansion is complete.