Category: Rwanda

Returning to Bweyeye

June 10, 2014 After a 4 /1 hour drive from Kigali, you turn the main road onto an impossibly rough, dirt, dusty, rutted road for the final two hour teeth jarring drive to the village of Bweyeye, perched atop a hill within spitting distance of Burundi and the Congo. Valens was driving and Ferdinand was…

Solar Lanterns Keep Kigali, Rwanda Thriving

By Patrick Foley, Global BrightLight Foundation volunteer, who recently lived and worked for two months in Rwanda. Living in Kigali, Rwanda, the unique happens almost by default.  This is the story of how solar lanterns boost both those without and those with access to electricity. The town I live in, Kacyiru, is a densely populated neighborhood…

New light for new hope in Rwanda

What a sobering, centering day in Rwanda. The first thing I noticed was her eyes.  Lifeless, dull.  There was no sparkle there.  You could detect a silent suffering in her eyes, which appeared dead.  She doesn’t make eye contact.  She fidgets and constantly looks away.  She has a proud bearing, but you can feel the…

Making a Difference in Rwanda

Yesterday was a very rewarding day. Taye Manzi and Michel Mesozera (WCS) picked me up at 6am for the 3 hour drive off-road to Bweyeye, one of two sites of our pilot in Rwanda. When I visited last October, I told the people in the villages I would return when they successfully completed the pilot. I was…

Rwanda and Patagonia Pilot Update

The Rwandan pilot continues to proceed very smoothly. Participants are providing helpful feedback on the two solar lanterns/cell phone chargers being tested. It may turn out that we will customize a lantern based upon the suggestions we receive. In Patagonia, it continues to be a challenge to import the lanterns into the country. Once we…

Expectations Exceeded in Rwanda

Michel and Emmanuel, WCS’s country director and our pilot director, respectively, picked me up at 8. We went to the WCS headquarters to pick up the “mountain truck.” We drove to the office of Jean Batiste, the elected Mayor of the Nyungwe district.  We explained our plan, demonstrated our model, and the first question from…