So, we’ve outlined who we are, what we do, and why we do it, but we want to show you how we do it, and how we’re measuring our successes.

One of the reasons we started the Foundation is we found that there was a huge lack of transparency in how the flow of resources reached the people that needed them the most. Simply put, for every battery bought and sold through Music Angel Europe, at any number of international music festivals that they undertake each summer; they donate one battery, and the costs of making them run, to us at the Foundation. The Foundation then use their resources to distribute them to schools in the country, as well as installing the solar panels needed to recharge the batteries.

On a wider level, it’s a little more complex than this. It’s all very well just sending some batteries and hoping for the best, but it’s a different matter to ensure that they’re being used effectively, but also ensuring that the process of getting a battery into the hands of a child in the most efficient way. We’ve broken the process down into 4 steps; build, distribute, install, and refine.

BUILD

When we first looked at portable power solutions, we found that on the most part, batteries were neither designed for longevity, or efficiency. They were being designed similarly to most consumer products in the 21st century; as disposable items.

Baard worked to design and create a battery that could withstand hundreds of recharging cycles with the least energy loss, all the while having the toughness to withstand the wear and tear of any item in an environment such as Rwanda.

What’s been created is a battery that’s designed for use in these varying environments with maximum efficiency; and because we brought the production in-house, we’re constantly striving for improvement. However, the battery is only as good as the source that it gets power from, in our case, solar panels. Baard worked to refine solar panel technology, adjusting to gain the best from the sub-Saharan sun, whilst ensuring that they’re simple to fix, install and maintain.

DISTRIBUTE

Distribution is the area in which it is often seen that other organisations have the largest wastage. It’s also, by its very nature, very bureaucratic. This is where the two different sides of the Music Angel organisations bring their knowledge bases together.

On the Music Angel Europe side, are people who’re experienced in live event production, people that are used to building mini-cities in the shortest possible time in the most efficient way. Then, on the Foundation side are a team with a wealth of experience working with local governments, adept at crossing cultural and political boundaries.

These two different skill sets allow us to utilise all the knowledge that we have, and apply them effectively to a project. This experience in production, combined with the expertise of the Foundation, ensure that we have a cost effective model of distributing the batteries and installing the solar panels, whilst the Foundation ensure the schools get them, in collaboration with the government and education ministry of the country.

INSTALL     

When delivered to a school, the shipment of batteries will come complete with all of the equipment to ensure they can be installed and function correctly – including solar panels & power distribution equipment. These will be installed by trained staff, who will in turn begin to teach local people how to maintain and install the systems independently.

Before the industrial revolution as we know it, rural homesteads relied on the cottage industry to support them financially. We think that developing nations have some of the most ingenious tradesmen and innovators on the planet; the way they approach technologies that we think are defunct or derelict, and reuse them, are simply astounding.

By working alongside local engineers, tradesmen and entrepreneurs; we want to learn how they perceive a tool like ours, and how they see how they can adapt it to other uses. This perception is the future of how our model can work, and the more time we spend working alongside the people that use it, the better we’re going to be at adapting it for different things.

REFINE

Right now, we know we don’t have the perfect model, and to be honest, we don’t ever want to believe we have the perfect model. If you think you have a ‘perfect’ model, you stop striving to improve, you stop tweaking and tinkering; and you ignore the flaws.

We think it’s better to be content in your discontent. We enjoy the challenge that the project throws at us, and we enjoy every minute we spend trying to make it better. We’re constantly evaluating our methods, and reaching out to new connections and continents, because that’s the only way to make a difference in the world. And that’s what we’re trying to do.

Every school work with will be a hub of data for how our project is progressing, we can monitor statistics such as how the system as impacted school attendance, how many families have been affected by our work & even delve deeper into the reduction of usage of Kerosene and how this impacts health and fire risk. All of this data is valuable not only to us, but by other charities, government organizations and anyone trying to help the population. We will use the data to constantly strive to adjust our project for efficiency and maximum impact; we know it wont be perfect first time, but it is our ability to adapt and develop that will see success.