LOCATION: Xi’an, China | PROJECT GRANTED: 2015
EPICS IN IEEE FUNDING: $8,200 USD
PROJECT OVERVIEW & UPDATES
When a loved one goes to prison, the emotional turmoil can be difficult for family members. But the children of incarcerated parents often carry the heaviest burden. While looking for an EPICS in IEEE project that would make a difference, leaders of the IEEE Student Branch of Xi’an Jiaotong University (XJTU) in Xi’an, China, learned about the Xi’an Children’s Village. For 20 years, its mission has been to shelter and care for children of incarcerated parents. Staff at the non-profit home look after about 80 youngsters, and ensure a warm, loving atmosphere. It helps to counter the children’s deep sense of loss, as well as the depression and shame felt by all but the very youngest.
Located in a mountainous area some distance from Xi’an, a major northwestern city of more than 5.5 million people, Xi’an Children’s Village had experienced problems with its power supply in recent summers. Frequent blackouts caused by power rationing in the region’s electrical grid create anxiety for everyone – especially the children. Their daily routine is disrupted, along with their already fragile sense of security and wellbeing.
In 2015, the IEEE Student Branch at XJTU submitted a project application to EPICS in IEEE for a low-power photovoltaic power system for the children’s home – enough for lighting and other basic electrical needs during the blackouts.