2016 Solar Light Project
MMC contacted Engineo Green Energy Company, in Chiang Mai, to buy solar light sets rather than transport them from Canada. The solar light kits purchased in 2015 used a lithium battery. Over the year, 3 of the lithium batteries failed. This year they did not have any solar light kits with lithium batteries. Only kits with acid batteries were available. They agreed to supply the following 10 Watt Solar Kit for $150 CAD.
MMC team spent 2 days in Chiang Mai meeting with the staff at Engineo Green Energy Shop to learn how to install the light sets & finalizing the purchase of 21 Sets. MMC planned to take these sets to Kawpan Lan Monastery Education Centre where there was only one generator to supply this school of 536 students (150 Boarding students). (See report on Kawpan Lan Monastery Education Centre for details on the school) Later, in February, the MMC team would return to purchase 29 more sets for the village of internally displaced people in northern Thailand called Loi Kaw Wan.
Many stores & many taxis were used by MMC team members in order to purchase all the equipment needed to install the solar light sets. Items purchased included:
- Ryobi Drill kit with bits to drill into wood & concrete.
- Screw drivers
- Wire, nuts & bolts, nails (wood & concrete) 5. Staple gun & extra staples
- Hack saw & blades
MMC team members left Chiang Mai on 29 January for Mae Sot, Thailand.
2 February 2016, we drove from Mae Sot, Thailand to the Burma border (7 Km away). It took about an hour to pass out of Thai Immigration & through Burma Immigration.
The MMC team spent 2 days at Kawpan Lan instructing & assisting with the installation of 21 sets of solar lights for classrooms, library and dormitories. This allowed students to be able to study at night. It was exam time & the students were grateful for solar lights.
The Abbot who founded the Monastery Education Centre was very grateful to MMC for coming to visit & bringing solar light sets to be installed in the classrooms & dormitories. Now the generator will be used less. There will be less funds spent on the purchase of fuel for the generator. His budget will have more funds to purchase necessary school books & training tools used by the teachers.
MMC was satisfied that the donation of solar light sets to this Education Centre gave them a “hand up”, not a “hand out”. The Monastery Education Centre is contributing a large part towards creating a healthy community.
The school principal had recruited 2 men to be the “solar light technicians”. One was a teacher from the LKW school. The other was a young man, the oldest child in an orphaned family whom MMC has known since 2011. They showed up on 18 Feb, ready to be trained & ready to work. They would work with Bay Da, a senior medic with experience in solar light installation.