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Congolese Nun Overcomes Blackouts by Becoming Electrician to Create Hydroelectric Plant


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Occasionally swapping sandals for wading boots, but keeping their veils tucked under their hard hats, a group of Congolese nuns has been trained in electrical engineering to keep the town’s hydroelectric running smoothly.

Powering a convent, a church, two schools, and a clinic, Sister Alphonsine Ciza’s work on the local mini hydroelectric plant is both free and vital for the city of Miti in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Ciza and some of her sisters were sent by their convent to study electrical engineering.

“The convent needed a technician, someone who could help,” Ciza told Reuters. “In me they saw in me the talent of electrical engineering so they offered me the opportunity to go and study.”

What they saw was a young nun repeatedly sticking her head and fingers into the convent’s electricity problems, often with the end result of fixing them.

With power disruptions all too normal in the city of 300,000 people, Ciza began to raise money in 2015 for a more reliable system—that means kids can now learn important computer skills on computers, rather than through books.

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“Previously, power often only came on at night, when children were no longer in school,” said headmistress Mweze Nsimire Gilberte. “Having our own turbine has been a great relief.”

(WATCH the video for this story below.)

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