It has been almost a year since the last solar training that was held in Durban and I am still extremely grateful to Greenpeace for having invested in educating their volunteers. The ten day experience was incredible, not only did I gather invaluable skills, but it also helped the volunteer group bond and deliberate over critical environmental matters that affect us all equally.

Before the training, I lacked understanding in the way solar energy worked and how it can be incorporated into our lives. I was not equipped to talk about solar energy and more importantly, to educate others.

During the training there had been a balance of theory and practical lessons taught, by very inspirational people. Dr Michael Götz, a specialist in solar energy, had come to share his knowledge on how renewable energy played a part in his daily life and how we could incorporate it into ours.

The course was tons of fun and very interactive, we even got together during lunch to prepare and solar-cook our food. The end of the training was quite fulfilling – all the knowledge we gathered during the course was put into practice when we built-up two solar trailers. The trailers are equipped with two solar panels and a wind turbine each, powering up flat screen televisions. It was built to depict a solar home system.

These trailers are in use today by our Durban and Johannesburg groups. We use them to showcase the simplicity behind solar home systems and how easy it is for an individual to attain energy autonomy.

After the training I had noticed a huge paradigm shift in our volunteer group. A year later we have talked to hundreds of different people, allowing us as volunteers to positively interact with the public and change mind-sets.

Thank you Greenpeace.