Kathleen Sungu Lee, a high school senior at Seoul Foreign School (SFS) has recently founded the Hands in Hands Foundation, primarily to support the underprivileged students in Nangi Village, Nepal. The main focus of the foundation is to provide tailored renewable energy solutions, mostly solar PV power and small-hydro power, and an affordable Energy Storage System (ESS), to the impoverished Nangi community in Nepal.

Kathleen took the initiative to perform a flute concert to raise support to continue with these projects. Her March 2014 concert at the uJung Art Center in Seoul raised $9,000 US. Dr. Mahabir Pun is grateful for the work and care that Kathleen has shown toward the students.
Kathleen Lee Fund Raising Concert
Click below to view the entire video.

In a recent interview by The Banner (a Seoul Foreign School publications), Kathleen related her recent experience.

I was able to realize how blessed we are and how profoundly education can change people’s futures by observing the people of Nepal. During my three visits to the mountain areas of Nepal, I realized that the most pressing issue is the lack of energy. While I was there, the most difficult thing for me to endure was the frigid weather after sunset and lack of lighting. Per capita electricity consumption in Nepal is merely 1/100 of that of the US. Most schools and the dormitories do not have sufficient, if any, lighting and heating facilities, so many students cannot read and constantly struggle with cold weather after sunset. As a student who wishes to pursue studies in the field of environmental science, I decided to contribute my passion and knowledge about clean energy to the Nangi School in Nepal to help the underprivileged yet passionate students.

Nepal has very limited fossil fuel sources, so people in the mountain area mostly rely on burning wood chips as their primary energy source, one with which it is almost impossible to generate sufficient electricity. Fortunately, the mountain area of Nepal is a naturally privileged location for solar PV, and small hydro power generation due to its high altitude, and a plentiful supply of water.

Together with suitable and affordable ESS, the people of Nepal can generate electricity from the renewable energy sources and keep the electricity stored in the ESS until they actually need to use it, mostly at night. In addition, just providing hardware might not be sufficient. In order to have self-sustaining power generation storage, we must train the villagers how to install, manage, fix and even prevent all sorts of operating troubles by themselves.

We wish to express our gratitude to our local partner, Dr. Mahabir Pun and his supporters, to serve as a model for sustainable local educational and economic development through the Himanchal Education Foundation and the Nepal Wireless Networking Project.

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