A Postcard from Gunung Sitoli, Nias: Solar Panel from JPCC Foundation

When the sight is blinded, darkness will consumed the life. I can't help but getting lost deeply in thought when this statement was mentioned in one of our meetings in Nias. The mission was to plant 175 houses with free solar panels to light up the night, but as I thought about it, the mission was to actually light up the lives of 175 families. 

JPCC Foundation started planting solar panels in Gunung Sitoli, Nias, in 2013. Today they have planted solar panels in the 11th village. The village itself was called Ulu Majo and I was very much privileged to join the 7 day program as a volunteer.

I had been an avid backpacker in various jungles in Indonesia, but I could say that this trip really pushed me the limit. After around 8 hours of traveling from Jakarta to our basecamp in Ulu Majo village, we quickly settled down to unpack the control box of the solar panel. Right away, we were at work. The next days gone by with the routine of planting solar panels as early as 9 AM until 7 PM. The farthest distance we had to go through was 2 km on foot through uncharted territories. As city kids, we were laughing stocks for the locals. However, with their help, we managed to pull through 4 days of trekking, placing all the solar panels up on the roofs.

Truth be told, I am still feeling tired even after 8 days of coming back to Jakarta after this trip. That is why, I'm keeping this blog short to let the photos and videos below speak for itself. If you wish to know more about JPCC Foundation and the awesome work they are doing, check out their instagram, @jpccfoundation

Photos and videos credits belong to: @carpilami
Drone credits belong to: @antontamin
Day 2: Started the first morning on the basecamp by counting all the solar panels.
Explaining the correct way to create a bulb fitting.
Solar panel distribution.
Showing the kids some IG story face filters.
Ricko, testing out the phone charger that comes with the solar panel. 

One of the very first houses that we lighted.
Anton, cutting up wires while the owner's son puts up the solar panel following to the sun's trajectory.
These two got a bit too playful until the girl on the right had a long scar because she was hit with a blade. 
One of our local volunteer fitting in the bulb.
We would often receive chicken as a gift from the locals. Denying the gift would be a mockery to them, that was why we would have to literally receive it. This was probably my first time holding a living chicken.
Day 3: Going further.
Peter, one of the fastest in our team.
Received more chickens.
I love this shot very much. It really portrays some of the poor house conditions that we visited. In frame: Bang Ocen.
Day 4: It was Sunday and this little guy was on usher duty in front of a local church.
"What is going on?"
Putting up the wiring for the solar panel to the control box.
Trying to figure out the right trajectory of the sun with Franky.
Sometimes the process could get really crowded.
Sometimes you could be doing it alone.
The last few houses that we worked in that day.
Day 5: Oscar, our photographer, found this boy carrying his dog to be sold for IDR 300,000. His 2 siblings and himself were left as an orphan when their parents passed away. This is how they survive from day to day.
Posing right after we completed the 175th house. Thanks to JPCC Foundation and Reagan for the awesome opportunity!

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