Dorcille Barry was the first to receive the solar lamp kit from Electricians Without Borders on February 25. Senator Annick Pétrus made the presentation.
MARIGOT–Dorcille Barry Mitchel, who celebrated her 103rd birthday on January 16, was presented with the first solar lamp kit by Electricians Without Borders (EWB) at her home on Thursday, February 25.
EWB launched the project in St. Martin for distribution of 750 solar kits, to be prepared for the next hurricane season. These kits from Schneider Electric – an EWB partner – are made up of a photovoltaic panel, a box with a battery, and four high-power lamps.
They also enable smart phones to be recharged. Saint-Martin Electro Clim (SMEC) offers free delivery logistics and storage on the island. Those who have experienced Hurricane Irma understand the importance of owning such a lamp.
EWB is a partner in the crisis unit of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and has intervened in St. Martin to electrically secure houses damaged by the hurricane.
The electricians supplied and commissioned generators, and distributed 500 emergency solar lamps to the most vulnerable families in September 2017. They are continuing work in the region, repairing electrical circuits and installing boxes equipped with circuit breakers to make homes safer and avoid the risk of fire or electrocution. Once this emergency work is completed, the group asks inhabitants to contact a local electrician to finalise their installation.
The presentation to Dorcille Barry was made by Senator of St. Martin Annick Pétrus, who is also the godmother of this operation. Also present were EWB volunteers, the French West Indies representative from Schneider Electric and the director of SMEC. They explained to Barry and her daughters how to use the lamp kit.
This project is carried out in partnership with Mont des Accords college. Teachers and students will work, during the last term, on the preparation and distribution of the kits, in order to then be able to transmit this information to the beneficiaries and more generally, work on renewable energies.
Finally, a video and an exhibition will be prepared by the students to be presented to parents at the end of the school year. A survey carried out by EWB has made it possible to target homes with a lack of electricity, and they will be the first beneficiaries.
The second beneficiaries will be care staff working in private homes in priority neighbourhoods, who are often forced to provide care in poor lighting conditions. This action is coordinated by the Collectif de Solidarité Infirmiere (CSI), responsible for identifying the nursing staff concerned by these needs.
Local associations working with the youth are also partners in contributing to this project. The distribution sites are provided free of charge by Les Compagnons Batisseurs, a partner since 2018. The project has been financed by Fondation de France (FDF).