Project Name: Bundles of Brightness

Location: Malwelwe, Botswana

Organizations involved in the project: Operation Starfish, Riverside Church

Project summary: 

We conducted a fundraiser that raised over $20,000 to provide students in a rural primary school with solar lamps, food stuffs, school uniforms, and school supplies. Led sessions that taught students and the villages how to use these solar lamps. The solar lamps have helped the students at Malwelwe Primary School to increase their examination pass rates by over 30%. 

What steps did your organization take to complete the project: 

As Operation Starfish we visited Malwelwe Village to conduct needs assessments with the villagers through a series of interviews. We traveled around the village to do this. From the results of the needs assessments we then organized a fundraiser concert to help purchase all the needs of the villagers. We also wrote numerous proposals to corporations to help in our fundraising efforts. 

What challenges did you face, and how were they addressed: 

Challenges we faced were getting volunteers to help with conducting interviews in the remote areas. No one seemed keen to spend their whole Saturday traveling through the scorching sun to conduct needs assessments. To solve this problem, we created an incentive- if you come and volunteer, you get a t-shirt and lunch. 

What impact has the project had on your campus and the community:

This project has had an enormous impact on the village we have worked in, Malwelwe. Pass rates at Malwelwe Primary School have gone up by 30% in just one year, and dropout rates have declined.