The Guzgef School in Tajikistan is going Solar through UNDP and Crowdfunding

May 31, 2016

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) together with local NGOs Little Earth, FLEX Alumni community and Public Fund “Fondi Rushd” launched a crowdfunding campaign on 30 May 2016 to collect donations to equip a rural school nr. 87 in mountainous village of Guzgef, Tajikistan with solar panels and proper insulation.

This initiative is first of its kind in Tajikistan and is supported by UNDP Crowdfunding Academy, which seeks to spread knowledge of the method, and enhance the capacity of local NGOs and communities in global crowdfunding to make them financially sustainable and independent.

Due to its remote location and lack of electricity, Guzgef School nr. 87 is suffering from high drop-out rates of children, especially girls, during the cold and dark winter months. Located in mountainous village of Guzgef in remote Romit valley, the school provides education to 137 students of 7 to 16 years of age. The school is also home for 35 school children from two neighboring villages, who travel 1km through the mountainous routes every day to attend the school. Poor access to electrical energy is a common problem in Tajikistan, where 70% of the population lives in rural and mountainous areas, where electricity is available only for up to 3 hours a day. However, the climate of the country with 280-330 sunny days a year is ideal for the environmentally sustainable solar energy.  

To tackle this challenge, a group of likeminded people created an ambitious plan to help resolve the problem of energy crisis and encourage further education of school children in rural Guzgef. By using the power of global crowdfunding platform IndieGoGO, they want to reach an initial goal of USD 8,000 to install a 2kW array of solar panels on the roof of the school nr.87 and help improve study environment. If successful, UNDP will provide additional USD 8,000 to implement infrastructure works and equip school building with proper insulation.

With support of partners, a number of on-the-ground social events were organized to engage different community members and collect a portion of funds through donations from local community. If sufficient funding is collected, it will be used to fund the establishment of an education corner (computer lab with computers) to help students learn more about green technologies, environmental protection, and energy efficiency. If fewer funds are collected, the total amount of money gathered through this campaign will be doubled by UNDP and the minimum cost-effective solar power plant will be installed on the roof of Guzgef School nr.87 to provide children with 24 HOUR ACCESS TO EDUCATION.

All information regarding the Guzgef Solar School, its students and their stories can be found on: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/guzgef-solar-school--6#/ and the FLEX Alumni website: http://www.bradleyherald.org/

The campaign’s progress can also be monitored via Facebook  page: https://www.facebook.com/Guzgef.Solar.School.crowdfunding/

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Crowdfunding represents an alternative way of raising funds via the Internet, in the form of a large number of small donations from around the world. There are several models of crowdfunding; IndieGoGo is a platform based on awards, which vary depending on the size of the funds paid. Crowdfunding has so far financed some 100,000 projects globally.

Contact information

For more information, please contact: Jamshed Kodirkulov, UNDP EEP Project Manager:jamshed.kodirkulov@undp.org; Malika Khakimova, UNDP Programme Associate:  malika.khakimova@undp.org

 

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