Welcome to the Engineering A Brighter Sudan Project!
During the second Sudanese civil war, thousands of young boys from Southern Sudan were separated from their families and forced to flee their villages when they were attacked by government troops. Facing thirst, starvation, disease, wild animals, and hostile government troops, these boys marched for hundreds of miles before reaching the safety of international relief camps in Ethiopia and Kenya. This group became internationally known as the Lost Boys of Sudan.
This journey is close to home for one of our group members, senior Mou Riiny, who was one of the youngest of these boys. In 2000, Mou was resettled from the Kakuma refugee camp in Kenya to Winchester, Massachusetts where he stayed with a foster family. After 7 years of schooling in Massachusetts, Mou enrolled at the University of San Diego to study Electrical Engineering.
In August of 2010, Mou joined three senior engineering students, Emmett Perl, Enrique Rayon, and Michael Rios, to start “Engineering a Brighter Sudan”, a project committed to the goal of bringing alternative energy to a newly constructed school in Mou’s village of Theou. The final system will use Jinko solar panels, batteries (still needed), OutBack inverters, and energy efficient lights from Precision Paragon to ensure that the system will be reliable and long lasting.
To help achieve our final goal, we built a scaled prototype of the system on the University of San Diego campus. This was demonstrated to the San Diego community during the Engineering open house on May 6th, 2011. The project will culminate with the entire group traveling to South Sudan to install the final system during the summer of 2012. When complete, this will give the community of Theou electricity for the first time and will create a sustainable model that can be repeated for villages throughout the developing world.
Electricity carries with it a world of benefits for rural communities, including the alleviation of poverty, reduction of illiteracy, and help for the local economy by providing opportunities for entrepreneurship. Our goal is to empower the people to obtain a higher level of education and independence, which will help a newly independent South Sudan prosper as a country. It is our hope that this project will serve as an example of the types of efforts that can be made to help those in need.