postheadericon Solar Energy Program

The goal of TSO's Solar Energy Program is to equip schools in remote communities (currently just in Burkina Faso) with solar panels, thereby providing them safe, clean and reliable lighting and electricity. TSO will also provide solar lanterns to loan to students and teachers and storage lockers for the safe-keeping of the lanterns. This extends the learning hours of teachers and students and gives them the opportunity to use computers and projectors and, possibly, access to the Internet (TBD). Ultimately, our goal is to improve the students’ academic achievements, as well as the teachers’ job satisfaction.

As part of this program, we are offering "green" internships to local youth. The youth is trained as a solar energy technician and is responsible for maintaining the solar installation in the school. The ultimate goal is to set the youth on the path of a meaningful and stable career.


Heredougou School Project

The Heredougou School Solar Project is a successfully delivered clean energy project in the remote village of Heredougou in Burkina Faso, West Africa. It is an initiative of a small team of energetic, mainly Calgary-based, volunteers with The Strongest Oak Foundation (TSO). The project was made possible by the generosity of Alberta donors, including Pengrowth Energy Corporation, the families of the 2020 graduating students of Strathcona-Tweedsmuir School and individual donors to The Strongest Oak Foundation.

In April of 2016, a solar energy system was installed in the Heredougou School classroom and two teachers’ residences by a local Burkina company, with oversight by TSO’s local project manager, Seydou Kinda. The children and teachers of the Heredougou School now have electricity to power laptops and light fixtures (making the classroom usable after sunset).

SolarPanel  Installation

About Heredougou

Heredougou SchoolHeredougou is a village of around 4,000 people in a remote part of Burkina Faso, one of the world’s poorest countries. Villagers live completely off the grid, although some families do have solar power in their homes to charge phones, TVs, radios, etc. However, the school had no source of electricity at all – until now.


Solar Lanterns

lanterns2LanternAt the end of the school day, students will be permitted to sign out and take home portable solar lanterns, supplied by TSO and manufactured by a San Francisco-based NGO called d.light. These revolutionary lanterns are an affordable, safe and reliable source of home lighting that permit home study without the need for dangerous kerosene lamps or candles. The students must return the lanterns the next school day, where they are stored in metal lockers (also funded by TSO) for safe keeping.


In August of 2016, our first solar energy intern, Yacouba Ouedraogo, began his internship with La Source Nouvelle, a local solar energy company, to be trained as a professional solar energy technician. He will be responsible for helping Heredougou village maintain the solar equipment at the school to ensure the sustainability of the project.

Next Steps

  • This is the second solar power project of The Strongest Oak Foundation, which hopes to refine and replicate the model to light up hundreds, or even thousands, of villages in Africa and perhaps across the world.

See the Project in Action

Please check out the French YouTube video showing the installation of the panels and lights being turned on in the school for the first time. We also have an English YouTube Video showing the Heredougou School solar project from start (installation) to finish (village celebration).


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Kopoï School Project

The Kopoï School Project was successfully completed, bringing light and electricity to the village of Kopoï in the Pa Department of Bale Province, Burkina Faso. Modeled on the Heredougou project, the project began in March of 2017 and was quickly completed in June 2017 by La Source Nouvelle, Oak Intern Yacouba and Oak Leader Kinda. Congratulations everyone!

Please view our Kopoï Solar Project video, documenting the installation.


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Success Stories

Many of our Oaks have come a long way since we met them. We would like to celebrate their successes in feature articles. Read about our next featured Oak, Gertrude Nanyonga.

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