The King’s Children’s Home is located in the Village of Cotton Tree and is home to some 72 children. The facility is considerably large and spacious and is really a new space for the Orphanage which was previously located in a smaller duplex on Trinity Blvd in Belmopan. The move to the new facility on the George Price Highway has been a good one and House Mother and Director of the Orphanage, Leonie Gillham, is extremely happy with the sprawling space for the children to live in. However, the move has seen a tremendous increase in the Home’s electricity bill, moving from some $1500 monthly to now 4 to 6 thousand dollars monthly. It is a strain on the home’s limited resources but that electricity bill will hopefully now be substantially cut with the installation of 96 solar panels on the main building of the facility. This is made possible through the Word at Work, an organization dedicated to connecting resources with needs, and churches and people with opportunities to serve. Word at Work saw the need at King’s Children’s Home and responded. We spoke to Word at Work Representative Kenny Logan ,who told us about this latest initiative.
Kenny Logan: The Word At Work doesn’t have the money. We are an organization that depends on the kindness of other people. So there was a young man, and I have to mention this because he’s dear to me. He came to Belize as a teenage young man and I had a hard time with him because he’s this little kid. But he had matured well enough and he had took on an imitative to put together a fundraising event in New Mexico to raise the money for the panels and for the entire system that you see here. Almost single handedly he gathered his friends and colleagues and he organizes a fundraiser. And so what we’re looking at is over 8000 dollars in equipment, parts, and services.
The installation process started a week ago and the company doing the work is Solar Energy Solutions Belize (SESB). Sylvan Kuffer from SESB told us that the panels should be able to help the children’s home with most of their electrical needs.
Sylvan Kuffer: Well you see in the background there is some solar panels that catch the sunlight. They produce DC Power and we have on the wall down there some SMA SONY Boards that are made out of DC Power, AC Power so that it can be fed into the main panel. King’s Children home can use it to power their fans and lights during the day time, Air condition, Fridge, etc.
According to Director of the King’s Children’s Home, Leonie Gillham, the panels are located on the building that houses the laundry, the offices, and the Kitchen. She says that they are looking forward to a reduction in the electricity bill.
Leonie Gillham: Every day we have to iron their uniforms every day. Every day there is ironing going on, there is laundry going on, there is cooking, everything going on here every single day. The computers for the kids that are in school that needs to do all their projects and everything so it’s amazing how the electricity kept creeping up. We have turned off lights at certain times, we have done everything we can to get the bill down but it seems to be manning us. This will definitely go a long way and I am really happy that we can really get this done.
The installation process will take another week or two.