Location: Ghana

Humanitas is an international charity which was founded in 2001 to provide long-term, professional support to vulnerable children and communities around the world.

Humanitas has three focus areas: family, healthcare and education. Humanitas offers medical assistance to children and their families in situations of conflict and crisis and has led responses in Bangladesh, Syria, Greece and Ukraine. NextEnergy Foundation (“NEF”) supported Humanitas in 2022 to respond to the war between Russia and Ukraine.

On the family education fronts, Humanitas has set up and run homes and a foster care programme for orphaned and abandoned children in Romania for the past twenty years. Humanitas has also run a primary and secondary school in Ghana since 2014.

This year, NEF is installing a 5kWp rooftop solar system on Humanitas’s secondary school in Ayensuako, a rural village 400km from Accra, Ghana. This will bring first-rime access to renewable energy to over 550 students, 60% of whom are girls. 2,300 community members will also benefit by being able to use the computers in the school’s library and the sewing machines powered by the system.

The system has a 25-year lifetime and has been reviewed by our volunteers in WiseEnergy to ensure that the design was appropriate for the school’s energy needs.

May 2023 Update: The installation is underway and the system will be operational by the end of May. Please see the photographs above for project progress.

June 2023 Update: The installation was completed in mid-May and the system powers sewing machines; a fridge and a freezer; lights; laptops; and, the internet router. Some information about the impact of the system thus far is below.

  • Environmental: CO2 emissions avoided from previous dependence on the national grid – Humanitas will report back to NEF on the emissions reductions for the next three years;
  • Environmental: reduction in food waste caused by frequent blackouts when depending on the grid for electricity;
  • Social: learning without interruption which previously occurred because of frequent blackouts – Humanitas will report back to NEF on the improvements in enrolment rates and academic performance for the next three years;
  • Social: Humanitas Project Manager and five school staff trained to operate and manage the system;
  • Economic: reduction in energy costs – savings will be re-directed to school supplies.

November 2023 Update: In the first six months of operation, the system has had the following impact:

  • Environmental: 24kg food prevented from going to waste, and the ability to buy food in larger quantities now that there is the assurance that it can be kept fresh or frozen – Humanitas anticipates that this will reduce food spending by up to £4,800 in the first year of the system’s operation; the savings will be channelled to improvements in educational services;
  • Social: Staff has reported lower levels of stress and anxiety as teachers no longer have to manage the disruptions caused by momentary or lasting electricity cuts – Humanitas has been able to expand its IT laboratory and acquire two industrial sewing machines for children to practice on as a direct result of a direct result savings on energy and food costs;
  • Social: Additional savings have been utilised to provide malaria treatment for pupils and school staff, and the solar system is also powering a water pump which is further improving health outcomes.