Hundreds of families in Rwanda will be connected to electricity for free as part of team Israel – Israel Premier Tech’s (IPT) Racing for Change initiative in the country. The kids who participate in the cycling program at the team’s new Field of Dreams in Bugasera, Rwanda will be able to do their homework after dark, for the first time in their lives.
Once upon a time, it was almost standard that Israelis would aid developing African nations with agricultural projects and energy and water conservation. The first pioneers who came to Israel from Europe found ways to farm in the desert, with little rain or other resources. They also changed the nature of the landscape in the country, draining swamps and planting trees to refill areas that had been deforested for the wood.
One could say this was Zionism’s modern version of Tikun Olam.
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For several decades after its independence, the small and poor Israel had its own version of the Peace Corps through which Israelis shared their experience with African nations. But after the Yom Kipur War in 1973, Arab nations cajoled African nations into breaking ties with Israel, promising to provide their own aid, which never came. But, in recent times, Israel has been able to rebuild its relationships with the non-Arab African nations.
And one field in which Israelis have become experts is alternative energies, specifically solar energy. Since the country has few natural resources, but a great deal of sunlight, this makes sense. So, Israel provides its brain power in these fields to the developing world.
One example of this is the gift of light to the families residing in villages all over the District of Bugasera, where IPT recently inaugurated a state-of-the-art bike center, became a reality following a unique partnership formed between the team and Ignite Power, an Israel-based solar company.
As part of the partnership, Ignite agreed to install solar panels in the homes of the youth who participate in the bike center’s activities. For many of these kids, it will be the first time their families have access to basic electricity in their homes.
“We are thrilled to partner with Israel – Premier Tech and its Field of Dreams project in Rwanda,” said Gil Karie, director of innovation and strategic initiatives at Ignite Power. “This collaboration reflects Ignite’s commitment to empowering the people who need it most with access to reliable, clean energy to transform their lives. By deploying these systems, we enhance education and economic development, reduce fire and health hazards, and create a more sustainable future for all.”
More than 20 homes were already been connected to electricity through this project and many more families will be connected in the next few weeks. Ignite Power has committed to connecting at least 200 homes per year.
The Field of Dreams bike center was built by IPT with the support of more than a thousand cycling fans worldwide. The center will allow thousands of children to learn to ride in a unique and safe environment. This will significantly boost cycling in Rwanda, which will host Africa’s first UCI Road World Championships in 2025. The plan is to introduce weekly races on the Field of Dreams track between riders from across Rwanda.
Israel – Premier Tech owner Sylvan Adams said, “This Field of Dreams that we built is the foundation for virtuous branches that provide sorely needed aid to our adopted Bugesera community. The best example is our partnership with Ignite, bringing solar-powered electricity to our community for the first time. These installations provide electricity for light, cooking, and even the ability to charge cellphones, saving people from the prohibitively expensive service provided by charging vendors. The residents are immeasurably grateful, and I am truly gratified to see the difference we are making with our activities and partners.”
Rwandan President Paul Kagame expressed his full support for the project during a meeting with Adams. President Kagame praised the team and its leadership for its investments in Rwandan cycling infrastructure especially because it was the team’s own initiative and came without solicitation. “I am deeply appreciative of this,” said the President.