The reason we went to DRC 2 weeks ago was to install solar panels. That was possible because a group of people came together & made it happen...
|Engineers Jess & Chris|
Remember 6 months ago in September when we launched our 1st Heart for Congo fundraiser? With an expectation of raising $5,000 to install a solar panel in the orphanage we held the Congo Carnival. We came away with $12,000! That money was enough for solar panels plus launching us well into our 2nd goal of feeding an entire orphanage for a year. And, this was just the beginning.
|Diligent Jess at the box & brave Stori|
Jumping a head to now, it was an honor to be a part of the team getting to install those solar panels in DRC. Meet the team- 2 engineers from Portland- Chris & Jessica- volunteered to do the installation. They did the prep, ordering, drafting, & teaching the rest of us what to do. Along with engineers Chris & Jessica, there was Ryan (an adoptive Father of 2 Congolese children), Stori (an adoptive mother of 2 Congolese children), Jim (Deacon of a church in Portland who’s building & starting up a school in a rural community outside Kinshasa, Ms. Jacky- originally from DRC, now living in the US- translator & woman extraordinaire, & Jilma & Nathan- founders of Our Family in Africa & the vision & drive behind making a difference.
|Getting ready to lift panel onto roof|
3 entire days were spent installing 3 solar panels in 2 locations- 1 at an orphanage & 2 at a future school for village school. The solar panels will charge cell phones, a fridge, & provide roughly 5 hours of light every night in a place where flashlights, the sun & the moon were the only sources of light. Check out the awe-inspiring pictures!
Stealing the words in an email from one of the engineers, Chris…
“I wanted to take a moment and give credit to where it is due. As you all know, it took a significant amount of work and a combination of all of your skill sets to make these projects happen. Each person accomplished so much in a short period of time. There is no task in these installs considered glamorous. It was so easy working with everyone since we all had the unified objective of doing our best for those kids. You should each be very proud of your contribution..."
|Deacon Jim (blue) & Ry (on roo|
|Chris on the blazing hot tin roof at 3pm|
And my personal message to
Heart for Congo:
Your perseverance inspires me daily. Thank you for going along with my crazy ideas & for sending words of encouragement my way. So many of you ask me, "What's the next project Michelle? Sign me up to help...I want to help..." Thank you for each of your individual contributions- giving, hugging, writing, selling, sewing, motivating, baking, cheering, talking, painting, pottery-making, laughing, etc. I love each of you & your heart for Congo.
|Installed by sunset|