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Bill Adams and his crew have built and will soon install a 10-kilowatt solar system for the young women’s community centre.

The donor: Bill Adams

The gift: Building a solar power generator for use in Nepal

The cause: Developing World Connections

Story continues below advertisement

A few years ago, Bill Adams' daughter Madison went on a trip to Peru to build an orphanage with a Canadian charity called Developing World Connections.

Mr. Adams was so impressed with DWC that he approached the organization with an offer to do something significant. That led to a discussion about Nepal where the Kamloops, B.C.-based charity was planning to build a community centre to help young women rescued from a life of bonded labour.

The community centre project caught Mr. Adams' attention and soon he was working with a group of volunteers on the design and construction of a 4,000-square-foot building. But one aspect became particularly perplexing: how to provide electricity to the facility? With the help of some engineers and generous corporate donors, Mr. Adams and his crew built a 10-kilowatt solar system involving 36 panels that have been taken apart and shipped to Nepal. They also raised $150,000 to help cover the costs of construction and shipping.

"We built it in my garage over the winter," said Mr. Adams, an executive with Canfor Pulp Products Inc., who divides his time between Vancouver and Kamloops.

Mr. Adams and 20 university students are heading to Nepal this summer to finish construction and install the panels. All money for the trips has been donated and they plan to leave behind whatever tools they use. A couple of engineers are also going along to train the locals on how to maintain the system.

"This is an opportunity to make such a difference in these young women's lives," said Mr. Adams, who has never been to Nepal. "It's going to be so amazing."

pwaldie@globeandmail.com

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