Education for children is very important. In many occasions, excellent education is closely related to excellent facilities and thus high cost beyond the reach of the underprivileged. On the other hand, availability of a tutor and books to answer questions on things that are not well understood can be very helpful. For that purpose, Universitas of Pelita Harapan (UPH) provides a simple library (taman bacaan), and a shelter for learning activities for kids in Bencongan neighbourhood, Tangerang, a suburb area 20 km away from Jakarta. The shelter is called Pos Belajar Dutasia (Dutasia Learning Post), run by The Dutasia Foundation. For the learning activities of the kids, UPH regularly send students as part of their service learning program to help the children. The learning post has been serving around 80 children of 5 to 12 years old from low-income families from the neighbourhood.
However, when evening comes, such activities have to stop as learning can’t be performed in darkness. For community service of this year, and in conjunction with the International Year of Light and Light-based Technologies 2015 (IYL 2015), Department of Electrical Engineering UPH managed to provide a solar-powered lighting system for the shelter, and handed it over to the foundation on 11 Dec. 2014.
The system was designed by Endrowednes Kuantama, a lecturer of UPH. During day time, a 50 Wp solar panel will collect energy from the sunlight, which is abundant in Indonesia, store the energy into a battery, and during evening, the battery will supply electrical power to 3 pieces of 5 Watts LED light bulbs which give sufficient light for the children to continue their learning activities and incidentally also for other community activities.
Now, the children are happy to get a better lighting system and the foundation does not need to worry on extra utility bill.
This activity was endorsed by The Indonesian Optical Society (InOS, IndonesianOptics.org). In 2015, InOS expects its members from various universities and research institutions across Indonesia to take part in the IYL 2015 activities by performing outreach or donating simple optical demonstration apparatus to local schools in their city, so that young people get awareness on how useful, interesting, and important optics is.
Henri P. Uranus got his Ph.D. in integrated photonics from University of Twente, The Netherlands in 2005. From 2005 – 2008, he was a post-doctoral researcher in Integrated Optical MicroSystems group, Dept. of Electrical Engineering, University of Twente, working on integrated-optical photonic sensor. From 2008, he is a lecturer in Dept. of Electrical Engineering, University of Pelita Harapan, Indonesia. Presently, he is the head of the department. Since 2013 he is also the VP Elect of The Indonesian Optical Society. His research interests are in modeling of photonics, especially for fiber and integrated optical devices.