Solar solutions for South Sudan

Mou wires a solar generating station

Mou prepares the combiner box where wires from the solar panels will be connected to the two main wires entering the solar charging components inside Thiou School.

Mou Riiny, who came to the U.S. several years ago as a refugee from the long civil war in Sudan, is now back in South Sudan where he is starting his own solar energy company to deliver electricity to rural villages like Thiou, the one he fled as a child to escape the violence and destruction.

A recent graduate in Electrical Engineering from the University of San Diego, Mou has already installed solar power for a village school and is now starting other rural electrification projects.

In a program at our multipurpose community center in Rhumathoi, he will train solar entrepreneurs who will create small business enterprises that are sustainable in the rural economy. Solar electricity will replace polluting sources of lights currently used and power small electrical devices such as cell phones.

See more pictures of this solar installation here.

See a recent news article about Mou and his USD project here.

USD meets Thiou village

Electrical-engineering grad students Emmett and Michael have traveled to South Sudan during their winter break to help their friend, fellow USD alum and VHSS field manager Mou Riiny, with the solar-power installation at Thiou Village School. (All three did their undergrad work at USD; Emmett is now a grad student at UC Santa Barbara and Michael is a grad student at U Wisconsin – Madison.) T.hey traveled with director Ron Moulton from Juba to Rumbek, and then they all went the hard way, by ground transportation, to Thiou. They found hospitality with Veterinarians without Borders, whose compound is close to the village. And then they went to work!

University of San Diego electrical-engineering grad students travel to South Sudan to install solar energy at Thiou Village School

University of San Diego electrical-engineering grad students travel to South Sudan to install solar energy at Thiou Village School

We plan to have photos of the installation itself very soon. And look for updates on the team’s blog, Engineering a Brighter Sudan.

 

 

Michael, Emmett, and Mou have their USD reunion in a bumpy ride to Mou's village in SouthS udan.

Emmett,  Michael, and Mou have their USD reunion in a bumpy ride to Mou’s village in South Sudan.

 

USD electrical engineering students in South Sudan

The guys enjoy dinner with others at the at the compound of Veternaire Sans Frontiers, walking distance from Thiou Village.

 

Solar mounting system

From welding to construction, here are some pictures of the mounting system for the solar installation at Thiou School. Click on each image to enlarge them.

The Wiring of Thiou School

This just in from Mou Riiny in South Sudan:

“I just came back (to the town) from Thiou village, where I have been for the last few days. We were very busy wiring the school to get it ready for the installation. Wiring is now mostly complete, only a few things remain here and there that I’ll complete when I go back.

“I want to go ahead and start the installation process since we still haven’t set a date for my return back to the U.S. I have listed the materials we need to make the installation and will get the estimate from the market in the next day or two.

“I attached some pictures from the wiring process.”

Thanks to Mou and his supporters, Thiou School in this remote location in South Sudan will soon have electricity!

Solar Equipment Arrives in Thiou Village!

Mou Riiny sent us a very exciting message about the arrival of the equipment to Thiou Village for the solar installation – conceived and supported by friends at University of San Diego:

“Hello family, friends, and supporters of the USD solar power project,

“I would like to inform you of the great milestone in our quest to bring solar power to the Thiou Village School in South Sudan. I received the container two days ago and I, along with many villagers, were busy all day yesterday emptying the container of all the materials and of course, the most exciting part – taking the 40 foot container out of the 22 wheeler truck without a crane! I’ll let the pictures tell the story.

“The village, and very soon the whole region, is filled with excitement that I cannot capture in words. The site of the container was quite the scene yesterday, and now that the word has gone out about the arrival of electricity in Thiou village, it has quickly become one great tourist attraction.

“With this milestone checked, we can surely say that we are 90 percent of the way to completing the project. I am planning on doing most of the preliminary installation before Emmett and Mike join me sometime in late December or early January to complete it all.

“Many thanks to all your support and enjoy the pictures, Mou”

The photos Mou sent are available on the USD website with Mou’s captions narrating the exciting milestone day in this remote village in South Sudan.

Items for sale – to benefit Thiou School!

Some local merchants have supported us by donating the following items for our fundraising purposes:
  • Heavyweight Red Sox coat with leather sleeves (men’s size XXL)
  • Signed 8×10 photo of Andrew Miller
  • 2 lift tickets for Wachusett Mt. (value $52.00 each)
  • 4-some 9 holes with cart at Reedy Meadow (value $105.00)
  • Dance lessons for 2 at Arthur Murray studio in Burlington
  • 4 passes to Frankin Park Zoo (value $64.00)
  • 2 tickets to New England Aquarium (value $22.95 each)
  • We will soon post these items on our non-profit e-Bay page. If you are interested in purchasing an item directly from us now, however, please submit your offer amount via the Contact form. The best offer (above the value amount) before we list on e-Bay will get the item, and we will work with you to provide the item in person or mail it to you. All proceeds from the sale of these items will go to our Thiou School project.

    More progress reported from Thiou!

    Mou Riiny graduated from University of San Diego just a few months ago. He traveled to South Sudan at the end of December, and he has been serving as our Field Manager for the construction of the Thiou Freedom School in his home village of Thiou. This picture of Mou was taken in February, and since then he and his team of local laborers from Thiou have made great progress constructing the school. Although Internet and phone service are spotty or non-existent in the rural areas where Thiou is located, Mou travels to the town of Wau quite frequently to purchase construction materials and to communicate on the progress of the Thiou School project. As you can see from these pictures, the progress is outstanding. Once again the work of the local people – and Mou’s leadership – exceed our expectations! The project uses local South Sudanese builders, trained from prior work and now running their own business! Thick walls of locally-made bricks surround the four classrooms of Thiou Freedom School. The walls go up! The project employs all local labor from the village of Thiou and the region as we deliver education and opportunity to this part of rural South Sudan. Thank you, Mou, for giving back to your native homeland with such hard work and great progress.