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Home Global Activities Africa Tzu Chi Installs Lone Solar Street Light in Dark Zimbabwe Neighborhood

Tzu Chi Installs Lone Solar Street Light in Dark Zimbabwe Neighborhood

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Tzu Chi volunteers have installed a solar street light next to a school they have helped to build in Zimbabwe, southern Africa. It is the only street light in a radius of ten kilometers; it has been warmly welcomed by the residents who now sleep more easily at night.

The idea for the light came earlier this year, when the foundation was preparing to deliver 10 pre-fabricated classrooms to Rusununguko Primary School. Conditions there were so poor that teachers held the classes in tents under the hot sun. In July, the foundation delivered the classrooms; volunteers assembled them at the site. Inside the container with the classrooms they included nine solar street lights.

The first one has been installed within the area of the school and uses power from the sun collected during the day to shine at night. Zimbabwe is one of the poorest countries in southern Africa, with a chronic shortages of fuel and consumer goods. Due to these shortages of fuel and electricity, the solar street light has special significance. The darkness in the neighborhood is a matter of great concern for the residents; it means that they cannot sleep easily in their beds, for fear of crime. The street lamp is like a beacon of light, giving them a sense of security. It is a matter of great pride for them. The residents plan to organize night patrols, to improve the security.

The volunteers have given the key to the lamp to the principal of the school; it will be the joint responsibility of the school and the neighborhood. While they consider where to install the next lights, they are working closely with local residents over how to make best use of them. The first night when the light was on was a special moment. The volunteers did not want to leave and people slept lightly. After the light come out, shining in the darkness, everyone was so happy and the volunteers were full of thanks. This light in the free school of Zimbabwe was like the compassion of the Bodhisattva, bringing hope to the future of its people.

(Tzu Chi volunteers in Zimbabwe 8/10/2012)


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" Bodhisattvas are not idols made of wood; real Bodhisattvas are people who eat, talk, work, and relieve suffering in times of need. "
Jing-Si Aphorism

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