We are so honoured by receipt of a substantial donation by Add Your Light Foundation who provided us 35 solar panel systems, to light up the huts that had no electricity. Katang Xieng is the village I mentioned in earlier posts that had no water in the village (and a steep trek to get it), no electricity, no toilets and their school huts looked like they were about to collapse in the next storm.
I suppose it would hard for the villagers to think that a dream was coming true for them. A few Phlangs (foreigners) show up at their village, take stock of the situation then make a commitment to try to help them. Would you believe what you were told? Well I can easily say now that they do have hope. They originally asked us to help them get water to their village because their requests from the hygiene office in Nong Khiaw hadn’t yet done anything about it. A short meeting with the office however changed all that. The hygiene office agreed to send their engineer the very next day to put together engineering diagrams and a formal request to us. In the meantime, I decided to send up our employee with two hired hands including a student we are sponsoring to the village to install additional solar panels. The decision was made to send them up without me so that I could test the employee (he had been previously trained on the panels) on his abilities and it was also as a cost savings measure for me. Prices easily doubled when I was around and I hadn’t raised any money for the costs of transportation, accommodation, etc., due to the unexpected donation and the timing of if. The other reason was that I wasn’t excited about having to stay in the village overnight.
Here are some of the highlights of the village installation but first, here are a couple of examples of the one of the poorest family homes, even though they are ALL poor.
I should note here that the villagers share what they have with each other, which isn’t much. The guys installed 4 systems but by request, they managed to cover 8 huts.