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CoffeeSnobs FairCrack - Solar for Tanzania

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  • #16
    Originally posted by oliverm View Post
    What a great story!
    The pictures fail to tell the future health benefits, plus the social benefits of electrification - like it will be easier for those kids that do get to go to school to do homework.
    They also fail to tell the immense frustration and headaches, of getting this on the ground, let alone the hours Andy and others would have spent making this come to fruition.
    I also know that there are a bunch of small scale microfinanced solar systems available off the shelf, but even they are too expensive. Huge kudo's to Andy and all involved for coming up with something that is feasible for this situation.
    Agreed, there are a lot of long-term benefits with very few downsides. It's a simple device that will do so much.

    "microfinanced" solar in Tanzania, Kenya and lots of Africa is typically a NGO or non-profits installing "Pay as you go" solar. While it's a nice way to get solar into places it has some big pitfalls. The first is that to "pay as you go" you need a mobile phone, while some villagers do have a phone most don't (and might never have one) so the NGO solar projects are mostly done in towns. This stops those that are in the poorest group from ever having solar and widens the health and education gap. The other problem is that the "pay as you go" typically ends up costing the end user many times the value of the solar kit, it makes it affordable but it's also a forever bill as they never own the equipment.

    FairCrack is putting the solar into homes of those that might never see it otherwise without the burden of how to keep it working.

    Looks like a great little kit for camping etc, will they be available in bean bay?
    So, when Zed and I went land speed racing a couple of weeks ago we took the prototype solar sets with us. They were awesome! Panel pointing vaguely north with a stick in the ground to hold it up, lights hung in trees around us and even one inside each of the camper stretchers we used were total luxury compared to holding a torch in your teeth! We also used it overnight to charge our phones which didn't have reception but were used as cameras during the day and a 5:30am alarm for the morning. The battery power did that for a week and the lights were still working every morning before the sun came up.

    We have no plans to sell them in BeanBay as the 1200 all went to Tanzania but may divert some here if we do another build for TZ in the future.

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    • #17
      Originally posted by Andy View Post

      FairCrack is putting the solar into homes of those that might never see it otherwise without the burden of how to keep it working.
      Although a relative newcomer to FairCrack, I love the way FairCrack is making life a little better for those who need it the most...Double thumbs up from over here...

      We don't have any appreciation of how good we have it here in Australia (none the least of which, myself included)...No...Seriously we don't ...Here we are on the snobs forum bantering, talking about and coverting the latest and greatest coffee making machine yet over there and other places they have a hose to shower with outside their front door, if they have water and are so, so, so happy to have 1 decent light in or on their house to do stuff with...

      A bit of a reality check I reckon...Just sayin....

      Thanks Andy and co...

      Keep up the good work FairCrack...

      Cheers.
      Last edited by bigdaddy; 27th March 2018, 02:08 PM. Reason: Spelling, grammar.

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      • #18
        Originally posted by Andy View Post
        We have no plans to sell them in BeanBay as the 1200 all went to Tanzania but may divert some here if we do another build for TZ in the future.
        Not sure of the cost the produce, import cost, Australia duties, you making profit and a good donation for faircrack but if all this still had the price at a moderate cost it could be a good product for later in the year for Christmas presents ect
        And buy a few bags of greens while I’m at it

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        • #19
          Originally posted by Andy View Post

          "microfinanced" solar in Tanzania, Kenya and lots of Africa is typically a NGO or non-profits installing "Pay as you go" solar. While it's a nice way to get solar into places it has some big pitfalls. The first is that to "pay as you go" you need a mobile phone, while some villagers do have a phone most don't (and might never have one) so the NGO solar projects are mostly done in towns. This stops those that are in the poorest group from ever having solar and widens the health and education gap. The other problem is that the "pay as you go" typically ends up costing the end user many times the value of the solar kit, it makes it affordable but it's also a forever bill as they never own the equipment.
          What a great project! I’ve been involved in some of the for-profit PAYG solar. The best ones do transfer ownership of the unit to the householder after a certain amount is paid, but I agree this model also has some downsides. A “giving back” project like FairCrack can reach a community that a for-profit or NGO can’t. Kudos to you!

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          • #20
            Well done Andy. The world needs a lot more of the same.

            In one of my past lives teaching "real world analysis" for UN / Ausaid's "African Virtual University project" plus it's home uni in WA, I was struck then by how minute things can make such a huge difference to the poorer peoples lives over there (Kenya, Rwanda, Ethiopia and Tanzania). Far too many wonderful "mini good stories" to relate all here.

            My two favourites:

            A run in with the "nameless uni's bureaucrats" when a Tanzanian street kid gatecrashed my classes and then promptly topped all A.V.U. campuses plus ALL the uni's other 32 campuses for my unit running at the same time that semester / trimester / intensive. The bureaucrats wanted to cancel her results and throw her out. I argued (successfully) "If she can do that with no resources, imagine what she could achieve if we gave her a scholarship...

            The other one: two of my "barely above average" Rwandan students were from the same village. On their return they asked the village women: "what would be the best change they could make to their lives". Unanimous answer: make it easier to get water. Currently most of the women were spending 5 hours a day getting water (yeh, I was gobsmacked by that one at the time). The students used a whole pile of "rubbish" (their words) laying around and built a mini aquifer plus transfer piping and actually made a village well for nothing but a bit of labour. They emailed thanks to me. I pointed out that all I had done was to teach him how to think about problems - they had worked the solution out all by themselves. My congratulations and admiration to them for applying what they had learnt in such a practical way...

            First world problems - my micro kitchen is far too small to hold the gear I need to make cooking easy... Kinda makes me realise how lucky we are here.

            TampIt

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            • #21
              Originally posted by TampIt View Post
              Well done Andy. The world needs a lot more of the same.

              In one of my past lives teaching "real world analysis" for UN / Ausaid's "African Virtual University project" plus it's home uni in WA, I was struck then by how minute things can make such a huge difference to the poorer peoples lives over there (Kenya, Rwanda, Ethiopia and Tanzania). Far too many wonderful "mini good stories" to relate all here.

              My two favourites:

              A run in with the "nameless uni's bureaucrats" when a Tanzanian street kid gatecrashed my classes and then promptly topped all A.V.U. campuses plus ALL the uni's other 32 campuses for my unit running at the same time that semester / trimester / intensive. The bureaucrats wanted to cancel her results and throw her out. I argued (successfully) "If she can do that with no resources, imagine what she could achieve if we gave her a scholarship...

              The other one: two of my "barely above average" Rwandan students were from the same village. On their return they asked the village women: "what would be the best change they could make to their lives". Unanimous answer: make it easier to get water. Currently most of the women were spending 5 hours a day getting water (yeh, I was gobsmacked by that one at the time). The students used a whole pile of "rubbish" (their words) laying around and built a mini aquifer plus transfer piping and actually made a village well for nothing but a bit of labour. They emailed thanks to me. I pointed out that all I had done was to teach him how to think about problems - they had worked the solution out all by themselves. My congratulations and admiration to them for applying what they had learnt in such a practical way...

              First world problems - my micro kitchen is far too small to hold the gear I need to make cooking easy... Kinda makes me realise how lucky we are here.

              TampIt

              Long time reader, first time poster. Have been reading this forum and the move by faircrack inspired me to post. I totally agree with the first line of the above post. Too often when we read of a company doing good things it is because they have spent fifty thousand doing something good then spending one hundred thousand telling the world about it. Here is a company who selflessly does something amazing for a community and then just does a modest post on their website to let their customers know where the money went. You can see this was done on a tight budget so the maximum gets to the people who needed it. It is a pity more people don't find out about this good deed.

              The self congratulatory post by tampit while totally off topic to the subject matter of coffeesnobs donating lighting was of some interest too.

              Max
              (totally in awe of this impressive feat by coffeesnobs)

              Comment


              • #22
                Just in...
                Bente has emailed us a couple of 3 minute videos that Thadeus put together and I've just uploaded them to YouTube.

                It's awesome to see the solar kits making such a big difference.

                Video 1:


                Video 2:


                FairCrack rocks!

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                • #23
                  That's brilliant (in more ways than one). The before and after shots show what a big difference the panels make to the lives of the villagers.
                  As always, thanks to Andy, Bente, Ralph and everyone else who made this possible (including us).

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                  • #24
                    Amazing Congratulations to all who put the hard yards in.

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                    • #25
                      I just received another video via Bente in Tanzania that Thadeus made.

                      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UCwfgDaCLQs

                      Great to see the difference a little bit of solar light can make to families that only had (dirty) kero light previously.

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                      • #26
                        ...and here is another one too...

                        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0KSEiCdLVa0


                        (I just removed the embedded video as some had trouble with it. The link should work fine though)

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                        • #27
                          The things we take for granted, eh...

                          Mal.

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