On July 13, six Community Management Committees (CMC) from the Brakna region of Mauritania celebrated the donation of solar panels for their respective communities. The mayor of Boghé district, Bâ Adama Moussa, presided over the ceremony. Before receiving the solar panels, representatives of the CMCs of Boussobé, Ndiawaldi Mango, Ngoral, Sarandogou, Ndalèye, and El Goss participated in a four day workshop on the use and maintenance of the panels. The solar panels and training were provided by Tostan in partnership with the Rural Energy Foundation .
The solar panels will provide community members with a local source of electricity for electrical devices such as cell phones. This innovation will eliminate the burden of needing to travel to neighboring communities that have electricity and the risk of abusive fee-for-use systems.
Access to electricity will also support a literacy initiative Tostan implemented in these communities previously. In 2009, Tostan used workshops on instant messaging to foster literacy skills and provided 600 NOKIA cellular phones to class participants. With the electricity produced from the solar panels, community members will be able to charge and use their phones easily, increasing their opportunities to practice their literacy skills through SMS messaging.