The MTN Uganda Foundation has partnered with Fenix International Uganda in project dubbed “Light up a Village” to light up over 56 schools from 24 districts —in order to facilitate proper learning outcomes by increasing reading time, secure learning environment especially in the night as well as supporting teachers’
preparation for lessons.
The project has so far donated over 560 solar kits across several schools in various districts in Uganda, as well as to health centers and settlement camps.
Implemented in partnership with Fenix International Uganda, a next-generation energy and technology company whose mission is to improve the quality of life of customers through inclusive energy, the project is in partial fulfilment of MTN’s vision of brightening lives across all the communities within which it operates.
MTN Uganda Chief Executive Officer; Mr. Wim Vanhelleputte, while speaking at the handover, noted that with the availability of solar power, students can now have extended learning times and teachers can put in more preparation time which will at least try to level the ground with learners and teachers in urban areas that have easy access.
Wim added that providing solar lighting, will provide a safe learning environment for the learners and hopefully encourage enrollment.
The project is worth UGX380 million and has so far seen installations of solar equipment in off-grid regions like Buvuma Island where schools and health centers were lit up to improve education and health care services in the area. Still in 2019, the MTN Foundation donated and installed 100 solar kits in the Bunambutye resettlement camp in Bulambuli district while another batch of solar kits were donated to several schools in Kamuli district.
Other districts that have benefitted from this project include; Apac, Pader, Adjumani, Lira, Nwoya, Yumbe in Northern Uganda, Kanungu, Kabale, Sheema, Rukungiri, Kiruhura, Kamwenge, Kabarole, Kibale, Kyegegwa, Kyenjojo, Kyotera, Rakai, Luwero, Masaka as well as
Bududa, Bugweri, Bukwo and Iganga.
As several learners and teachers are looking forward to having schools reopen, the acute power shortages despite being connected to the national grid is still one of the biggest challenges most schools face countrywide.
This has affected performance of school children since revision time is hampered each time there is no electricity. Therefore by providing solar lighting, learners can be able to read for longer as they recover the study time they lost in the previous year 2020.
Over 45,000 learners will benefit from this project. The MTN Foundation has undertaken to support a number of government initiatives in the education sector. MTN Foundation has been building and rehabilitating schools in various parts of Uganda in partnership with PEAS. MTN Foundation has also been extending ICT skills to learning institutions through setting up fully functional ICT laboratories. The Telecom has also extended computer literacy to rural schools through MTN ICT bus. The bus is fully equipped with ICT facilities with which the children and given basic ICT training.