Electricians without borders - Follow the adventure in Peru

Here is our fourth interview with Project Leader Bernard Bonnefoy.
He reports on the first deployment mission in five villages located a day’s travel away by dugout canoe along the Madre de Dios River.

Video in French only

Electricians without borders - 4

Bernard, have you received any feedback about the use of installations since this mission was completed?

Yes, we have had email exchanges with the village nurses who provided us with some feedback when they had the opportunity to return to the town of Puerto Maldonado. They report the changes brought in their professional activities with patients as well as in their daily lives.

In the area, night falls at 6 p.m. As nurses are present at their workplace around the clock, they appreciate to be able to go out for a while at night, take a few moments in a lighted bedroom to read a book, attend to personal matters, maybe in the future use a PC or even watch TV…

We are pleased with these expressions of gratitude, which encourage us to continue our action.

Video in French only

Electricians without borders - 4

Have you heard from installations in schools?

Teachers in 3 villages have told us that they received a few small PCs.

For them, and children in these forest-bound villages, the use of such new tools truly revolutionizes teaching. Only Internet access is still missing!

To run these computers, the teachers received additional PV panels supplied by the government. In one of the villages, they have even expanded our installation in order to light further classrooms.

For this purpose, they leveraged the experience gained with ESF volunteers to improve existing installations.

Video in French only

Electricians without borders - 4

How are installations maintained?

Users have made the installations their own. Father Xavier Arbex, who is close to these communities, said: “They value their new facilities and take care of them.”

Teachers and healthcare staff make sure that our recommendations are followed. The maintenance booklet and safety guidelines are always placed next to the power switchboard, along with a checklist of maintenance operations, which are scrupulously carried out.

In the event of more serious issues, the relevant Ministries are informed and, if the two technicians who have worked with us are not able to solve the problem, it’s up to Manuel—the young electrician that we trained—to step in.   

Have you heard of any major problems on the installations?

Yes, one of the schools installations was stricken by lightning and the inverter was destroyed.

The Ministry of Education collected the necessary funds and Manu was in charge of repairing the installation. He seized this opportunity to improve "the grounding" so that a similar incident will not happen again. 

Have you had the opportunity of returning on site to inspect these installations?

Yes, we have last summer. This trip will be recounted in our next interview. We’ll also start describing the preparatory steps for our next deployment mission which is planned for the second half of 2013. We’ll talk about this, too.