Norwegian team powers transformative change for Tumaini students

A visit by two volunteer fieldworkers from Engineers Without Borders has made a huge difference to life at Tumaini Open School.

They helped install a reliable power system and improve internet connection.

“Their generous work has brought about transformative changes for the school, significantly enhancing the education experience for students and teachers alike,” says Tumaini director Ezekiel Kassanga.

Previously there could be lengthy power outages because the school in Tabora does not have a reliable grid supply. It now has much more dependable solar panels to provide electricity.

The system was designed by Ingvild Oftedal, an electrical engineer from Bergen, Norway, with the help of Trond Øines, from Solar Technologies Scandinavia. They are both volunteers with the Norwegian branch of Engineers Without Borders.

Ingvild says she planned a photovoltaic system with battery storage (hybrid solar system), and got a financial contribution from another Norwegian company called Trainor.

Local company Ensol delivered the components and installed the system – with the help of some of the students, as you can see in the picture above.

Explaining the Infospot system

During their time at Tumaini School, Ingvild and Trond also helped improve the students’ access to digital content. They bought and installed equipment for an infoSpot (antenna, router, Raspberry PI and cables) sponsored by the Basic Internet Foundation.

Ingvild then trained the volunteers and the teacher in the new local server, website and cloud storage, where they can upload, share and access information through the local wi-fi. She and the Norway-based Basic Internet Foundation preloaded the server with some relevant information about health and energy.

The school now enjoys a reliable and sustainable energy source, ensuring uninterrupted learning activities. Basic internet benefits both students and teachers by providing access to a wealth of education resources and enabling communication,” says Ezekiel Kassanga.

Picture of Tumaini students with one of the Norwegian volunteers
The students pose with one of the Norwegian volunteers Ingvild Oftedal

Engineers Without Borders (Ingeniører Uten Grenser Norge) is a volunteer-based NGO that provides technology and engineering expertise in humanitarian work worldwide. The organisation was established in 2011 and has several local chapters throughout Norway. Its international projects strive to achieve sustainable and long-term positive impact for local communities in low-income areas.

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