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We have just received this comment from St Michael's, Malindi.

"We are experiencing 15 hour blackouts right now but classes and dormitories are fully covered"

Thanks to the solar power installed at St Michaels study can continue even in the blackouts.

Girl Power

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Sunrise on Lake Malawi

The day starts early for the 600 girls of St Michael’s School on the shores of Lake Malawi. Their first study period runs from 4.30 to 5.30am, long before the sun rises. (In tropical Malawi daylight stretches from 6am to 6pm and varies little over the year.) The girls will settle to another two hours of study after sunset - but again only if the electricity is functioning.

 If the power goes off, a few can rely on small battery torches, the remainder simply return to their hostels to sleep. MACS aims to help all the girls to pursue their dreams in education by equipping twelve study rooms with solar powered back-up lighting.  

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To meet Rose Chikambi, Malindi's Headteacher, or to see trustee Adrian Brown's appeal presentation play the videos below.

Solar Power

Solar power offers clean and reliable lighting in a country where frequent power cuts affect those fortunate enough to have access to electricity. Those relying on the national grid experience daily rationing and lengthy “outages” lasting from a few hours to several weeks. This impacts severely on medical and educational facilities. In 2021, MACS provided solar power to twelve rural health centres. Now we are turning our attention to schools.


Solar power for a health centre

Green Power

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More firewood from the forest

97% of households in Malawi rely on firewood or charcoal to provide the energy for cooking. Fewer than 1 in 10 people have access to the national electricity grid and that number shrinks to 1 in 100 in rural areas where 85% of the country’s population lives. Malawi lost over a third of its forest cover to firewood collection in the decades either side of the Millennium, resulting in land degradation and the silting up of the rivers, including the River Shire, which should provide hydroelectricity. In the short term the Malawi government is building its first coal-fired power station as well as several temporary diesel-fuel power stations with the inevitable damage to the environment.



Thanks to your generosity, we have now raised over £30,000 for the 2022 Appeal, in aid of putting a solar-powered back-up power system into St Michael’s school, Malindi. As you will recall, this is a boarding girls’ school, so the girls not only study there in the evening, but also sleep overnight in dormitories. So we were particularly pleased to have been able to provide reliable electric power both to the classroom block, where the girls study, and to the dormitories, were they sleep.

Following a tender process, MACS awarded the contract to Powerplus, the supplier we have used before : Installation began in August, and was completed in September. We’ve used high quality lithium batteries, which require less maintenance, and have also installed low power LED bulbs, to make the power go further. The system can be charged either from the solar panels, or the mains, and should give the girls and their teachers reliable power for their evening studies, and light for convenience and security in their dormitories.

Zikomo Kwambiri! “

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