By JENNIKA INGRAM | Reporter
One senior at Palisades Charter High School is reaching out to the community and seeking donations to help the Sports Education Leadership Foundation—or S.E.L.F.—fund solar panels at the Majiji School in Zimbabwe.
“The solar panels would allow them to have light for their evening study sessions and night classes,” shared Pali High senior Maya Datwyler, development associate for the S.E.L.F. Project, in an email to the Palisadian-Post.
The panels would also provide power to charge electronic devices, such as cell phones, computers, printers, audiovisual equipment, along with a WiFi hub for teachers to do research and lesson plans, Datwyler shared.
The boarding school is for children in kindergarten through 12th grade, and they are trying to teach adults at night, Datwyler explained about the school in rural Zimbabwe, Africa.
The S.E.L.F. Project—a nonprofit organization that aims to help the world by promoting leadership, education, sustainable practices and sports, especially for women—has raised $5,000 of its $15,000 goal.
The solar panels cost $11,522.15, with the remaining funds being used to pay local staff in Zimbabwe and buy additional supplies.
“I really believe it’s a great cause,” Datwyler said to the Post.
Although Datwyler has completed the necessary community service hours required by her high school to graduate, she’s doing her best to raise money for this project.
Datwyler works closely fundraising with Hannah Wasserman, the vice president of the S.E.L.F. Project.
Wasserman also graduated from Pali High and was crowned Miss Palisades 2012. Her family still lives in the Palisades, and she is recently back in Los Angeles after graduating from UC Berkeley.
If the fundraising goals are reached, the solar panels will provide the Zimbabwe school with a completely self-sufficient power source.
“All of these 21st century necessities that we in America often take for granted will not be afforded to school until 2022 unless the S.E.L.F. Project intervenes,” Datwyler explained. “Having solar panels will make the school completely independent from the power grid, and as an added bonus, will supply the school with an all-sustainable power source.”
Representatives from the S.E.L.F. Project added that the panels are “crucial” due to the “unstable political climate” in Zimbabwe.
“It’s completely falling apart,” Datwyler said. “Inflation is up 300% and everyone is suffering. We’re just trying to help them be sustainable on their own without depending on the government.”
The project would use Belmont Electrical to install the panels—“a trusted source who understands the terrain and the culture,” shared a statement.
All donations are for the nonprofit are tax-deductible. For more information, visit selfproject.com.
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