When Shak and I arrived in Kurugu Vohoyili this morning, the location for the solar center had been selected and there were bricks laid out to show the structure outline. The community chose a great spot for their charging hub – nicely secure in the center of the community with plenty of sunlight!
We went to the chairman’s house and he said they were ready to get to work! Before we knew it, there was gravel (clay-like substance from the ground used to build all the huts in the community) being mixed with water and small boys carrying out gravel bricks to construct the center.
In planning for the pilot, we decided that building a village hut would be perfect to house the solar charging hub – it blends in with the community and is made from local materials. The community agreed. Families donated gravel bricks already cut and dry and about 30 men came out to help build the structure.
It was a fantastic day. Within only a few hours we had the basic structure built. Shak joked (although somewhat serious) that he would use this technique to build a chicken coop; he had never built a village hut before and neither had I! Below are some pictures that show the progress of our day. Tomorrow we will be building the doors, window and securing the zinc roof.
The Innova(Sun) team is made up of Fellow Alumni, Ben Powell and Mark Moeremans. Despite Mark being stuck in Europe for work and having to join the pitch via teleconfernece, the Innova(Sun) team did an incredible job of presenting their idea for solar-powered electronics charging businesses that will provide CWS villages with access to electricity.
Over the next year, Mark and Ben will be working with me and my co-mentor, Chuck, to develop a plan for piloting Innova(Sun) in a CWS village. Thanks to our amazing competition sponsors, Goodwin Proctor, Wolf Greenfield, and Foley Hoag, Innova(Sun) has $10,000 of funding for their pilot!
The Innova(Sun) pitch wasn’t the only great presentation at the competition finals. Kelsey & Zoe from Waste-to-Wealth, and Michelle & Alex from GroundNUTrition did an amazing job pitching their social enterprise ideas! I helped to moderate the final judging session, so I know that it was extremely difficult for the judges to pick only 1 winner. As mentors, Chuck and I are so proud of how far each of these teams have come over the past 11 weeks!
Finally, I would like to thank our judges: Una Ryna, Matt Tarditi, Vanessa Green and Mike Pomianek! As Innova(Sun) works to develop their pilot plan they will be writing a series of post on the CWS Blog. Make sure to check it out if you are interested in following their progress!