Education, Enviroment

Empowering Communities: Don Bosco Solar PV Training for Trainers in Bombo, Uganda

In a collaborative effort between the Don Bosco TVET Centres in Uganda and Engineers Without Borders from Germany, a transformative “Training of Trainers” (ToT) program took place from November 27th to December 8th, 2023 at Don Bosco Vocational Training Centre Bombo. This initiative aimed to equip participants with essential skills in solar engineering, fostering sustainable energy solutions in the region.

Training Overview:

The ToT nature of the program signifies that it was designed not only to impart skills but to create a ripple effect. Participants, now equipped as trainers, can disseminate their knowledge, further expanding the impact of sustainable energy solutions in their communities. The training was part of a running program called “Gender Matters for Green TVETs,”-2023 to 2026 initiated by Jugend Eine Welt with funding from the Austrian Development Cooperation. The main target group of the trainings were the electrical and solar teachers from different Don Bosco Vocational Training Centres (Don Bosco VTC Palabek, Don Bosco VTC Bombo and St. Joseph VTC Kamuli) plus 12 external participants from other Public/Private TVET Centres and solar companies.

The program covered a comprehensive curriculum, with twenty enthusiastic participants engaging in hands-on activities, installing a solar system featuring Victron inverters and BYD batteries. The training covered various aspects, including AC systems, sizing, wiring, mounting systems, and system configurations.

Key Learnings:

Participants emerged from the program with a diverse skill set, ranging from fundamental solar system installation to advanced troubleshooting and maintenance. The utilization of industry-standard technologies such as Victron inverters and BYD batteries ensured that the training aligned with global best practices.

Beyond the Basics:

The training program went a step further by incorporating two critical components – remote monitoring of solar PV systems and the integration of solar technology with a gender perspective. Remote monitoring enhances system efficiency and maintenance, ensuring longevity and reliability. The emphasis on gender perspectives acknowledges the importance of inclusivity, encouraging the active involvement of all community members in the renewable energy sector.

Global Collaboration:

This collaboration between the Don Bosco Vocational Training Centres (TVETs) and Engineers Without Borders reflects a global effort to share knowledge and foster sustainable development. The partnership not only brings expertise from Germany but also facilitates cross-cultural exchange, enriching the learning experience for all involved.

Continued Impact:

This marked the second solar training collaboration between Engineers Without Borders and Don Bosco TVETs in Uganda. The first one,was  held in October 2022 at St. Joseph VTC  Kamuli, Uganda, set the stage for the Bombo training. These initiatives, building upon each other, create a network of trained individuals capable of spearheading sustainable energy projects throughout the country.

Certificates of Achievement:

To recognize the dedication and successful completion of the program, participants were awarded certificates. These documents acknowledge their proficiency in various skills, from technical aspects like solar installation and system configuration to softer skills such as remote monitoring and gender-inclusive approaches.

Looking Ahead:

The impact of the Don Bosco Solar PV Training extends beyond the confines of the training period. Graduates of this ToT program are now equipped to contribute actively to the development of sustainable energy solutions in their TVETs and communities. The integration of remote monitoring and gender perspectives ensures that these solutions are not only technologically sound but also socially inclusive and responsive.

In conclusion, the Don Bosco Solar PV Training stands as a beacon of empowerment, illuminating the path towards a future where communities harness the power of the sun for sustainable development. Through collaboration, education, and hands-on training, this initiative, within the broader context of “Gender Matters for Green TVETs,” has laid the foundation for a brighter and more sustainable tomorrow in Uganda and beyond.

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