If you have been following our social networks (Twitter | Facebook), you would have seen that the team left Kigali for Minazi last weekend to start manufacturing the Izuba.Boxes, the battery boxes for our standalone solution.
Minazi was our first kiosk and where it all began. In 2008, the founders of e.quinox chose Rwanda as their test bed for the idea they had from their group project. 5 years later, we are now a fairly established student project, with 5 kiosks and helping around 500 households. New committee members elected every year bring new ideas into the organisation, while following the aim of our original founders – to find the blueprint solution to rural electrification.
The standalone model was a new solution to e.quinox last year, after we realised the initial capital the Energy Kiosk model requires was too much for average local entrepreneur. As an organisation, we are constantly learning from our mistakes – so this year’s boxes feature an easier manufacturing approach, better software and also automated backend system.
Back to all the fun we had making the boxes! We have structured our very own manufacturing line, from working with locals to manufacturing the wooden boxes to soldering components to the PCBs; from attaching that to the faceplates to siliconing to make sure the box is water-tight. We worked effectively as a team and the 75 boxes were ready for distribution in no time.
I feel like this is why I joined e.quinox 2 years ago. A group of good friends working towards a common goal to help people, and we all do this from our hearts as volunteers. We might be missing hot showers, a balanced diet and reliable internet, but we enjoy the banter and each others’ company. During our stay at Discover Rwanda, we met many people and made good contacts, most of them found it surprising that we are only students since we look such a professional organisation from the outside.
I guess that is what e.quinox is about – students doing amazing things.
If you would like to join the team next year, please visit our stall at Freshers’ Fair or visit our website for more information!