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Student helps to bring light through solar power in Uganda

Dec 1, 2016
by Bobbie Stewart

In rural communities in Uganda, some children neglect their homework at night — not because of laziness, but because of lack of light.

That has changed for more than 200 Ugandans, thanks to the efforts of sophomore Westly Woodward, a Coastal Environmental Science major who spent her third summer volunteering with the organization Solar Light for Africa, a Christian organization that installs solar panels in Ugandan homes without electricity.

“The chance to get involved in a project to provide light using the sun’s energy was right up my alley,” she said. “The opportunity to be involved in this type of work, to see firsthand the impacts that sustainable energy can have, has helped me realize my calling.”

Woodward grew up in Beaufort, S.C., close to one of the largest undeveloped estuaries in the country. Her proximity to those natural resources helped facilitate an appreciation of their purpose, and a commitment to preserve them.

In 2012, she traveled to Belize as part of a Water Missions International team, where she installed solar-powered water systems, solidifying her interest in sustainable and clean energy systems.

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