AHEAD Energy

Rating: 4.6 stars   5 reviews

Issues: Environment, International, Economic Development, Microfinance

Location: McDonough Center, Marietta College 215 Fifth Street Marietta OH 45750 USA

Mission: The mission of AHEAD Energy is to assist schools and medical facilities in harnessing local energy resources to meet daily needs in an economically-sustainable, environmentally-conscientious manner. Our geographic focus is on Africa, the continent of greatest need. We envision a world in which universal access to energy as well as its wise stewardship enable all people to attain a high quality of life on a thriving planet.
Results: 200 children at Circle of Peace School in Uganda now have lights in the classroom thanks to the installation of a solar PV system.; Efficient cook stoves allow the school cooks to work in a smoke-free environment; 200 students at Chazon Childrens Center in Molo, Kenya can now water their gardens because a pump was installed.; This school has electricity thanks to the installation of wind turbines.; At Kagando Rural Development Center in Uganda, 600 primary school children now have access to hot water for bathing, laundry and cleaning.; At the Mother Care Home, hundreds of new mothers and their infants now have access to efficient cook stoves.... and the list goes on.
Target demographics: Schools and medical facilities in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Direct beneficiaries per year: Hundreds of children and adults.
Geographic areas served: Sub-Saharan Africa
Programs: Energy improvements at Circle of Peace School (Makindye Uganda), Kagando Rural Development Center (Kasese, Uganda) Chazon Children's Center (Molo, Kenya), Arlington Academy of Hope (Bumwalukani, Uganda), The Hunger Project (Nabriye, Uganda)

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Community Reviews

Rating: 4 stars  

Ever since the Circle of Peace School partnered with AHEAD Energy, I have been continuously impressed with their commitment and abilities to improve the poor environment of the school. In 2009 after her first visit to the school, MJ, the president of AHEAD, saw the needs of the school, and she made a commitment to make a difference. AHEAD Energy assessed our school and formulated a plan to improve the school for the benefit of the students, teachers, and school officials.

Designing and performing all of the work themselves, AHEAD Energy has shown themselves to be truly extraordinary partners. We all look forward to AHEAD Energy’s projects just as much as for the chance to meet and interact with the AHEAD representatives as for the substantial benefits that the completed projects have made to the students’ everyday lives.

Before our partnership with AHEAD Energy, we had outdated methods of preparing food using three stones on an open fire, so AHEAD Energy designed and constructed rocket stoves. These stoves control the smoke from our stoves that used to stay in the kitchen and expose our cooks to harmful carcinogens. Now we have a healthy environment that is no longer harmful to the staff preparing meals for the students.

AHEAD Energy helped our cooking problem, but they didn’t stop there. Circle of Peace School couldn’t afford the energy, unreliable supplied by Uganda. Now, thanks to AHEAD Energy, we have reliable energy from solar panels that power a refrigerator storing food for the children and the lights in our classrooms, which enable the children to study at night and take showers with hot water.

AHEAD Energy also created for us a water harvest system and thermal hot water heater. These two systems save our school much money from the expensive water bills. We have been very blessed to have worked with AHEAD Energy, and I look forward to continuing our partnership with them for a many years to come.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I have personally experience results with AHEAD Energy since 2009

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I wouldn't change anything

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Rating: 4 stars  

My experience with AHEAD Energy was excellent! I was working with a partner in Uganda, doing work at both a rural development center and a primary school. As an undergraduate student studying civil engineering, I found the experience that I gained through my work in Uganda to be even more valuable than most of my time spent learning in class. The hands-on, problem-solving approach that AHEAD Energy takes to finding solutions to energy-related issues in underprivileged areas is something I find fascinating and instructive. For example, my partner and I had the chance to actively participate in the construction and installation of 65 Rocket Stoves at the attendees' kitchen of a hospital. This hands-on approach was great experience for us and really made an impact for the community as well.

Overall, my experience with AHEAD Energy was incredible. I am very thankful for their support and guidance. While I didn't feel wholly prepared upon arrival, their in-country support helped direct us and accomplish the goals we had set as well as many more tasks as well. I would definitely not hesitate to volunteer for AHEAD Energy again!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

my education and my work with Engineers Without Borders.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

suggest attempting to better define the different directions our work may take us, though sometimes the uncertainty is just the nature of working in the developing world.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Quite well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Likely

Did your volunteer experience have an effect on you? (teaching you a new skill, or introducing new friends, etc.)

Learned tons of new skills, networked with a lot of people, and got a chance to travel to a foreign country.

How did this volunteer experience make you feel?

Incredible!

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Rating: 5 stars  

CHAZON Children Centre is a feeding and educational institution that serves orphans, former street children and destitute children from very poor backgrounds. The children are selected from Molo Community. Molo is about230 Km North-west of Nairobi, the capital city of Kenya. Molo has many such children but due to limited resource we have enrolled as we are able to take care of.
The children stay for the night with relatives, foster parents and good Samaritans. The Centre has two vans that pick them up in the morning and drop them in the evening. While at the Centre the children are provided with meals and formal education. They are between age 3 and 16. Currently we have 350 children enrolled at Chazon.
We have faced many challenges during the four years of our existence. One of the major ones was innavailability of electricity a the Centre. We needed electricity to run our office equipment like computers and also for lighting. We are very grateful to Virginia Duffy from New York who introduced us to the President of AHEAD Energy who talked to her about our energy needs. AHEAD took the initiative of looking for a company that would donate power generating equipment to the Centre, Jetpro technology of Taiwan and AHEAD donated all equipment needed for wind power generation and paid for the shipment to Kenya and installed. Today we have electricity at the Centre and NO ELECTRICITY MONTHLY BILLS. AHEAD, keep up with the good you are doing for the disadvantaged people in society.

Pastor and Director
Chazon Children Centre

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

The changed lives of former street children. They are able to get along with other children. The orphans are able to receive love, acceptance and for some, a family to live with. All the children are able to have self esteem acceptability and education that they would have otherwise not got. The feeding programme has greatly improved their health.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I would improve the nutritional level of the feeding programme, improve the physical facilities like classrooms and indoor kitchen, provide accommodation to those children who have to depend on elderly grandparents. Obtain a more reliable source of clean water.

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Rating: 5 stars  

My experience with AHEAD Energy has been inspiring to say the least. During the winter of 2009, AHEAD gave me the opportunity to devise a wind turbine system design which was to be assembled and installed at the Chazon Children’s Center in Molo, Kenya the upcoming summer. I worked closely with wind turbine donation partner, Jetpro Technology Inc., in Tainan, Taiwan.

The unique experience was fulfilling. AHEAD allowed me to see a beautiful integration of engineering, business, and stewardship. In addition to determining the best geographic location for the wind turbines, I had to make sure the system design was able to meet the energy needs of the Chazon Children’s Center community. I was encouraged by AHEAD’s mission to enable all people to have a high quality of life and plan to pursue this in my career.

President MJ’s passion and leadership have opened my eyes to stewardship in the context of a greater global community. Currently, I am Master of Science in Business Administration candidate at the Simon Graduate School of Business and have a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering from the University of Rochester. My goal is to follow AHEAD’s example and use my business and engineering expertise to improve the lives of our international neighbors.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

many ways.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

no suggestions.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

What one change could this group make that would improve your volunteer experience?

no suggestions.

Did your volunteer experience have an effect on you? (teaching you a new skill, or introducing new friends, etc.)

Absolutely. I learned a great deal about the global community.

How did this volunteer experience make you feel?

Inspired!

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

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Rating: 5 stars  

The lessons I learned as an AHEAD Energy volunteer speak to this organization's mission to illuminate communities around the world. In Fall 2008, AHEAD asked me to travel to sub-Saharan Africa, assess available energy resources and energy needs at a Ugandan primary school, and help assemble a personal network of local, state, university, and commercial individuals that would continue to inform AHEAD's work in the region. The experience was transformative.

Travelling alongside AHEAD Energy President MJ Ebenhack to the Peace Primary and Nursery School in Makindye, Uganda, I learned of one of AHEAD's guiding approaches -- to strategically work beside stakeholders, not in front of them. We talked with every student, teacher and staff member in order to gain insight into the Peace School's unique energy (and other) needs. This contextual approach enabled our design of an alternative energy system tailored to the school's setting, while empowering the school to take a central role in the project. This project won the Outstanding Commitment to Action award from the Bill Clinton Global Initiative University in 2009, which provided funds for the solar photovoltaic system at the Peace School. This prestigious award is a testament to AHEAD’s vision to work with communities to improve access to modern forms of energy.

My education was profoundly affected by AHEAD Energy. AHEAD helped me design and carry out an interdisciplinary major in alternative energy and sustainable engineering, which allowed me to align my abilities with my personal philosophy rooted in environmentalism. After volunteering with AHEAD, I went to work at the US Department of Energy, where I created opportunities for geothermal energy projects in Uganda, Rwanda, Djibouti, and Kenya, while networking with East African scientists in order to provide continuing educational resources to them. Next fall, I will begin a UK Fulbright Scholarship in which I will connect Ethiopian, European and American geoscientists at the benefit of geothermal energy development in East Africa.

AHEAD Energy’s impact on my life was far-reaching, but it does not compare to the impact they continue to have on African communities in need of energy.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

many forms.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

not have any suggestions.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

Was this review helpful?