EDC’s Extreme Makeover!


This year’s EDC (Executive Development Course) took 22 of your senior leaders to 3 Sub Saharan African countries to study distributed power possibilities.  They visited remote, rural, and urban communities to understand the way of life for those who live in countries where only 15% of the population has access to a power solution.  One of those communities was the Ng’resi Village, a small community built into the side of Mt. Meru supporting 1700 families.  This village had a primary school in desperate need of rebuilding.

On October 11, EDC and 30 participants from GE Africa Leadership Week gathered to do just that and in the process changed the lives of 1030 children, 28 teachers, and their community.  Over the course of 4 weeks they collected a total of $102,603 USD (totals with GE matching is 170,000 USD!!!)  This is the first time EDC has had a service project of this magnitude.  Upon reflection, Shane Wright, VP & CFO Aviation, stated, “I thought the service project was an outstanding idea and the support I received from my peers in the business was outstanding.”

By partnering with the Red Sweater Project and Books for Africa these children have access to education like never before.  Roberto Mello, CFO – China Healthcare, recalled his favorite part of the day.  “I handed the backpacks I had helped prepare to the kids … we were told that it was very unlikely they had ever received anything new in their life before … they didn’t need to say “thank you”, their eyes spoke for them.”  The MDC 2012 September class collected $4500 dollars for books for the new school library.


Here is summary of our accomplishments…



School Repairs

  • 19 Painted Classrooms
  • 7 repaired floors & walls
  • 11 renovated roofs
  • Inspirational mural on school wall by local artist
  • 11 doors painted
  • 7 security doors installed
  • 150 new desks purchased
  • 4 tables and benches purchased
  • 2 new verandas



School Supplies

  • 1030 backpacks (1 for each child)
  • 30 Teacher kits (1 for each teacher)
  • Chalk, Paper, and Binders (1 year supply)
  • 1,030 new school shoes (1 for each child)


1st Ever School Library

  • 1500+ books
  • Library Amenities
  • Library training for 1 teacher
  • Inspirational mural by local artist

Sporting Equipment (Alive & Kicking)

  • 20 Soccer balls
  • 20 Netballs
  • 20 soccer jerseys for school team
  • 4 goal keeper uniforms


When touring the homes of these school children, we noticed the strong gas fumes of the Kerosene lamps used to light the huts.  We were told that the fire-based light sources have contributed to multiple fires and deaths within the village.   

Thus, EDC committed to donating a SunKing Pro Solar Light for each home or hut.  Now the students will have a safe and reliable way to complete their homework and to light the room as they cook their dinner each night.  Our not-for-profit partner, Global Cycle Solutions (through Echoing Green) will outfit each hut with this solution designed to last 5 years.  This savings will now go towards a replacement light when needed.  Our donation will also fund one paid position for an entrepreneurial member of that village to oversee the maintenance and replacement of these lights.  The donation goes deeper than the gift of light.  It will bring more employment over time and impact the way these villagers live!

The day ended with a very special ceremony dedicated to GE with dancing, singing, and endless thank yous from the community.  Raj Thakkar, GM, Sourcing, Power & Water, said, “I realized everyone at that school had spent countless hours getting ready for our visit…from preparing for the cultural program to all rebuilding logistics of the school in a short period of time. It was more than project management; it was ownership with care and leadership with purpose.” Andrea Assarat, GM Global Business Development recalls I, along with others, spent the afternoon stocking shelves with donated books. As we drove away, children trailed our vans waving goodbye. Their outpouring of appreciation made me realize how much we had impacted their lives.”

In addition to helping the Ng’resi Village significant contributions were also made to Kiva & Save The Children, to improve the lives of children and support local entrepreneurialism. 
Congratulations to EDC 2012 and the GE Africa Leadership Week participants for a heart-felt effort on GE’s behalf. 


GE Gives 2012 - Allocation of Funds

Red Sweater


 $64,906.02 (Potential with GE Matching Funds: $114,315.72)

GCS/Echoing Green


 $15,105.63 (Potential with GE Matching Funds: $29,310.56)



 $5,004.67 (Potential with GE Matching Funds: $9,638.88)

Alive & Kicking



Books For Africa


 $12,539.66 (Potential with GE Matching Funds: $25,079.32)

Save the Children


 $5,005.80 (Potential with GE Matching Funds: $10,011.60)