Bringing Solar to Schools for Girls in Pakistan
Today’s newsletter brings inspiration as Gridworks celebrates the accomplishments of Solar for HER, a group of volunteers working to bring solar power to school girls in a far-flung mountainous area of Pakistan. This effort is led in part by Gridworks’ amazing project manager, Rehana Aziz.
Public School for Girls in Pakistan
This is the story of how Gridworks came to know about Al-Mahad Public School for girls in Yugo. Yugo is a remote mountainous village located 75 km from Baltistan capital Skardu in Gilgit Baltistan Pakistan. For years, the girls residing in this area were marginalized and denied an equal chance of education. This was until a group of local educated individuals came up with the idea of forming a community-based organization – Welfare Trust Yugo, to establish a community-based school: Al-Mahad Public School for girls.
However, the challenges didn’t stop with establishing the school. Yugo is not connected to Pakistan’s national grid and receives electricity from local hydroelectric power located in a neighboring village. The power is subject to voltage fluctuations and power outages that can last for days and even weeks. The area is high altitude (over 10,498 ft above sea level) and surrounded by towering ice-capped mountains, requiring girls to study in extremely low temperatures.
Imagine 6-year-old girls studying while sitting in a deep freezer… it’s almost like that.
Solar for HER and Gridworks
Given the challenges from unstable electricity service and harsh weather that limits the school & ability to keep doors and windows open for sunlight, Welfare Trust Yugo reached out to Solar for HER for help. Solar for HER is a volunteer group that raises funds to install solar systems in girls’ schools to enable girls to keep learning in extreme weather conditions. The team is dedicated to installing solar systems at 30 girls’ schools in off-grid remote parts of Pakistan. With donations from Gridworks staff, fellows, and board members, Solar for HER was able to transform the 11th school. Our donations installed a 1 KW system for Al-Mahad Public School.
This was a humble gesture of support to Solar for HER, a team of young energetic people who are playing their part in influencing the environment and country’s education system positively. To read the full story of Gridworks success in this wonderful work, read the blog.
We Need Your Help
Although this project has been a success, there are more schools in Pakistan with no access to electricity. Your support and donations can immediately impact many lives in those small villages.
Your contribution will go directly to Solar For HER, a campaign to establish solar-powered schools for girls across Pakistan. It’s a volunteer drive organization aiming to help poor girls access solar-powered classrooms in villages and towns, mostly focused on schools without electricity where girls are affected by extreme weather conditions.
Rehana Aziz, a Gridworks Project Manager, helps lead this incredible campaign, contributing her technical expertise. Rehana worked in the Pakistani solar PV industry for 7 years before coming to the U.S. to pursue her master’s degree in Energy Systems Management on Fulbright scholarship. “It’s a dream come true to be able to contribute to girls’ education in my hometown,” says Rehana. Next month Rehana will graduate from her Masters’s program and is sure to go on to make many more significant contributions to our clean energy transition. Gridworks celebrates Rehana and her amazing work to bring solar to schools in Pakistan.