It was much happiness and joy when we finished and opened the solar power station at Bishop Judith Craig`s Children’s Village outside the capital city Monrovia, Liberia. Children and staff were jubilant!
70 children, some who were made orphans during the Ebola epidemic that plagued the country in 2014, live in the village together with the staff. On the same campus is also a school with more than 600 children. As of last Friday (Oct . 26) the people at the village and the school can enjoy electricity as it was switched on.
Below are some pictures taken by our engineer Piotr Kwasowski, who was responsible for the installation. The pictures are from the village and the opening ceremony. The ribbon was cut jointly by the bishop of the United Methodist Church in Liberia, Bishop Quire and a former resident at the village, Mason, who was one of the first children at the opening of the village some 20 years ago and their first university graduate. The two holding the ribbon is Debbie and Aron who will graduate from the school next spring, leaving the village to continue their university education. Both want to study medicine to become medical doctors “so we can help the people and our country”.
Back to the 70 children and the 12 Big Macs! The total cost to keep a child at the village (food, lodging, education, etc.) adds up to 1 USD per day while the price of a Big Mac in Norway is almost 6 USD (5.91 USD to be correct). Comparing the two numbers; 12 Big Macs pays for 70 children for one day. The idea of comparing the children and the Big Macs is not to give a feeling of guilt or keeping anyone away from enjoying their Big Mac, rather to remind ourselves and put the Big Macs into a different perspective from what we are used to. Or in a historical perspective, think of the billions of Big Macs that has been bought and enjoyed since the start of MacDonald’s in 1948 in its more than 36.900 restaurants with more than 1.5 million employees in over 100 countries around the world. We don`t even want to start calculating; only one days consumption of Big Macs would be mind-boggling. It may be a crazy calculation and comparison, but sometimes it is good to be a little crazy in our thinking. Outside the box! And besides, the divide between failure and success is all too often shockingly slim; in this case, just a few hamburgers.
Finally, this whole project was sponsored and paid for by the United Methodist Church, Board of Global Ministries in Norway. We were just grateful being selected to do the job based upon our experiences in Africa.