Nompumelelo Learning Center

Caring for Orphans in Rural Areas (CORA)

(Eastern Cape, South Africa) 2018-2019

Program/Project Description

UNICEF estimates that there are almost 4 million orphans in South Africa. Nearly 20 percent of all children there have lost either one or both parents, primarily due to HIV/AIDS.  The number of children growing up without parents in the Eastern Cape of South Africa alone has doubled in the past five years, from approximately 350,000 to more than 700,000. 


A collaboration of corporate sponsor Black & Veatch, non-profit partner Caring for Orphans in Rural Areas (CORA), and Sun Partners International are raising funds, engineering, and installing a four kilowatt solar system with battery backup at the Nompumelelo Learning Center in the Eastern Cape village of Nqonoqweni, 50 kilometers from the nearest established town.   


The Nompumelelo Learning Center center consists of classrooms, a kitchen, and play area.  The solar/battery system will power indoor and outdoor lights, a refrigerator, a cooking kettle and a personal computer.  The battery system will provide multi-day electricity storage in the event of extended inclement weather.  The power will enable Learning Center staff to prepare warm meals for the children, and village inhabitants will also be able to use the Learning Center after hours.  Most villagers in Nqonoqweni have never had access to electricity. 


Once the Nompumelelo Learning Center project is completed, Sun Partners, CORA, and Black & Veatch plan to install solar/battery systems at other CORA learning centers in South Africa.

FAME Medical Clinic

(Tanzania 2017-2018)


Program/Project Description

 In 2018-2019 Sun Partners is engineering and installing a 30 kW solar PV/battery system for FAME Medical Clinic (www.fameafrica.org), a U.S.-run non-profit rural hospital near Karatu, Tanzania.  FAME consists of an outpatient clinic serving 1,600 patients per month, 24 bed inpatient hospital with emergency room and 2 operating rooms, laboratory and radiology facilities, and staff and volunteer housing.  Delivery of health care by FAME is inhibited by a highly unreliable supply of power (average of 10+ power outages per week) from the grid and backup diesel generator.  Donor giving will fund the procurement of necessary project equipment, including PV panels, batteries, and other electrical supplies. 


FAME also operates a mobile “clinic on wheels” that visits weekly the remote Rift Valley Children’s Village (www.tanzanianchildrensfund.org), a large un-electrified orphanage/school facility.  In 2018, Sun Partners will be pursuing a partnership with RVCV to implement solar power projects at RVCV (e.g. a solar-assisted water pumping system and a lighting/power system for FAME’s on-site satellite medical clinic).


To view a CBS 60 Minutes video of FAME and RVCV, click the link:

Program/Project Impact

 The solar PV system for FAME will improve the safety and health of surrounding communities by eliminating frequent power outages that interrupt medical exams and procedures and reduce the overall effectiveness of FAME to provide consistent, quality patient care; the Project will eliminate diesel fuel for the back-up generator, thus eliminating atmospheric emissions and noise in a very remote, environmentally-sensitive area of Tanzania (FAME is located adjacent to the Serengeti and Ngorongoro ecosystems); and the Project targets a diverse patient population from the rural Maasai Tribe and multiple ethnicities in Karatu (population 180,000).    

        The Americas

In 2018/2019 Sun Partners will also seek opportunities to facilitate installation of sustainable solar power systems in the Americas and with local and regional non-profit partners in the U.S. that work in low income communities. 


Idetemya Girls Dormitory- Phase I ​

(Tanzania 2014)


In 2014, Sun Partners International partnered with Africa School Assistance Project (ASAP) – a Denver-based non-profit organization that builds schools in rural Africa – to electrify a girl's dormitory in Idetemya Ward, a remote, unelectrified area of Tanzania.  The Idetemya Girl's Dormitory was built to provide a safe, secure facility for teenage girls to reside and study to minimize risks associated with walking long distances daily to attend Idetemya Secondary School.


To enable the dormitory to function, a solar PV-powered electrical and lighting system was completed for Phase I of the dormitory (housing 48 girls) in October 2014.   The Phase I project involved the engineering, procurement, and installation of a roof-mounted solar array, battery storage, the DC-AC conversion system (i.e. inverter), the AC distribution panel, and the AC electrical system to power the dormitory's computer room and provide interior and exterior security lighting for the initial dormitory building and toilet/bathing facility. 

Idetemya Girls Dormitory- Phase II ​

(Tanzania 2015)


In 2015, Sun Partners International again partnered with Africa School Assistance Project (ASAP) to electrify Phase II of the Idetemya Girl's Dormitory in Tanzania.  The Phase II project involved the engineering, procurement, and installation of a roof-mounted solar array, battery storage, the DC-AC conversion system (i.e. inverter), the AC distribution panel, and the AC electrical system to power the dormitory's computer room and provide interior and exterior security lighting for a second dormitory building, the kitchen pavilion and equipment room, and the perimeter security wall.  The Phase II project expanded the capacity of the dormitory from 48 girls to 96 girls.  

Chiboyla Water Pumping Project

Solar Water Pumping 

(Zambia 2013)


Through a partnership with Children International, Sun Partners completed a solar PV-assisted water pumping project at a community school in Chibolya District, a mega-slum area which lies at the outskirts of Lusaka and which is served by a Children International community center.  The Chibolya Community School has 1,400 students, yet the School's water supply system had failed due to an unreliable hand pump on its water well.  


The Chibolya water pumping project involved the engineering, procurement, and installation roof-mounted solar panels, 5,000 liter water tank and tank stand, DC submersible pump, and associated plumbing to deliver water to students, administrators, and the community-at-large.   The solar-assisted water pumping system is producing, on the average, 3,000 liters of clean water per day, a precious resource in an otherwise resource-scarce slum area of Lusaka.