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Volunteer of the Year Awards Recipient - Hana Kitamura

IVHQ Volunteer of the Year winner, Hana Kitamura

After placing third in the 2014 IVHQ Volunteer of the Year Awards, IVHQ Tanzania volunteer Hana Kitamura was awarded with US$2,000 from the IVHQ Fund to provide solar power to Upendo Face Orphanage and the surrounding community in Arusha.

Hana explains, “My long term vision for this project is that the children and surrounding community will be able to operate under environmentally friendly, low cost, sustainable solar power. This would mean cooking with solar energy, cleaning up under light, reading books, playing games and discussions after sunset. This would also mean saving money on kerosine which is what we currently use to cook and reducing the need to use firewood which causes continual damage to the environment.”

“I worked alongside an incredible engineer named Amani who made this process incredibly easy by installing this massive project into the orphanage and surrounding neighbours in a whopping 4 days!”

Installing a new solar panel in Tanzania with IVHQ

IVHQ’s local team in Tanzania were responsible for working with Hana to purchase the items required to complete the project, and supplying photos of these items along with receipts to IVHQ.

A total of US$2,000 was awarded to Upendo Face Orphanage and the surrounding community, which was invested in the following items:

  • 2x Solar Panels 120W
  • 2x Battery N150
  • 1x Solar Control 30A
  • 1x Inverter 500W
  • 15m of Flexible Wire 6mm 3core
  • 1x Roll of Flexible Wire 1.5mm
  • 1x Roll of Flexible Wire
  • 20x DC Bulbs
  • 7x Lamp Holders
  • 3x Oneway 1 Gang Switch
  • 1x Oneway 2 Gang Switch
  • 1x Battery Rack
  • 2x Panel Frames
  • 2m Battery Cable
  • 4x Cable Lugs
  • Labor

The gear used for IVHQ's Hana Kitamura's Volunteer of the Year Award

The orphanage as well as the local community were overwhelmed with gratitude at the completion of the project. Hana shares, “The reaction that I received from neighbours was heartwarming. The 96 year old Maasai grandmothers gave me a big hug and did a little Maasai dance. Their comments and conversations over the next few days revolved around the excitement about not needing to buy kerosene anymore. I am incredibly excited that this project was a success, and am so happy that the grandmothers are able to witness and enjoy such a small part of what we take for granted at home.”

“As for the orphanage, the lighting and electricity came at the perfect time, as I now have two little ones living in the orphanage. The first two children to live at Upendo Face Orphanage, which is another exciting step in the right direction. The installation of solar power means current and future orphans living at Upendo Face will be able to play in the evenings, read books after the sun goes down without supervision and the risk of starting a fire, while the directors can use the electricity at no cost.”

“The installation of solar power and solar lighting within the orphanage and the surrounding community could not have been possible without the IVHQ award money. Thank you for ‘Bringing Light’ to our beautiful Upendo Face Orphanage.”

Installing the new light

To meet our other Volunteer of the Year finalists and learn about the projects they’re supporting, visit our Volunteer of the Year page.

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