Solar Power & the Incubator

Sarah’s blog 14/1/23

A while ago we had a very generous donation from a company called Lochlie Construction. They gave money for the purchase of an incubator so that eggs could be hatched on a larger scale and then the chicks/chickens could be sold as a form of income for the Foundation. Self-sufficiency is always the end goal but not many plans are straightforward! The Foundation has electricity in some of the buildings, however, the supply of electricity has been very sporadic…only being on for a few hour at a time. After successfully hatching one lot of chicks the electricity supply was even less…certainly not enough to keep the eggs warm in the incubator.

We tried to source solar panels in Malawi to power the incubator but this wasn’t possible. So when we had enough money spare, we purchased solar panels and a generator and sent this on the last Bananabox Trust Container. The electrician attached the solar panels to the nearest building roof (so they are less likely to be stolen) as the chicken shed roof is much lower. However, as we know nothing happens easily! We had no spare money to pay the electrician to connect the solar panels, generator and the incubator until a chance conversation I had with someone earlier in the week on the subject of self-sufficiency. I had said about the chicken project that would be going ahead as soon as we had the money to employ the electrician. They then offered to pay for the electrician to connect the solar power supply to the incubator. We are very grateful for this generosity.

As you know, we are volunteers and do not have admin costs, so all monies donated go straight to the projects we support in Malawi. The electrician started work yesterday and finished off today. Some of the teenagers from Bright Futures Secondary School kindly helped dig the trench for the cables to keep costs down. Fertilized eggs will now need to be purchased at £10 per tray of 30 eggs and then, hopefully, this will be a sustainable project bringing in a source of income for The Foundation. There is room for approximately 500 eggs at one time.

When we have more money, the electrician will do some more wiring so that the solar power can run other things, like the computers in the library, lighting, recharging the hair clippers that we sent and the projector for showing films and educational programmes. We mustn’t forget the television too as everyone loves watching football! Lives are changing and the children’s futures are looking brighter. We hope that you will keep being part of our team, supporting them to have choices and chances that they wouldn’t otherwise have had.

Thank you to Lochlie Construction for the incubator and to the donor who paid for the electrician. Thanks also to Bananabox Trust who organise the container and ensured the solar panels were packed carefully and arrived safely in Malawi. If you would like to support this project by purchasing some eggs for the incubator or you’d like to support any of the other projects then please do email .

Hope you enjoy hearing about what is happening at The Foundation and hope you enjoy looking at the photos. Thanks, Sarah x

This photo was taken when the incubator first arrived at The Foundation. There is room for over 500 eggs.
This lovely photo was when some of the children at the nursery were looking at the first batch of eggs that had been carefully placed in the incubator. Hopefully, there will soon be lots of chicks for them to see.
Some of the students helping to dig a trench for the power cables. The chicken shed is on the left of the photo, in the centre is the staff latrine that was built recently and the staff accommodation on the right of the photo.
Some of the students kindly helping to dig a trench to the chicken shed which is on the left of the photo
The electrician busy at work
The incubator now has power….yay!
You can see the solar panels that have been installed on the roof of the staff accommodation which is the building nearest to the chicken shed where the incubator is.

Leave a Reply