Haiti solar panels installed by Monroe workers damaged by quake

By Erica Shaffer - bio | email

Posted by Nick Dutton - email

MONROE, MI (WTOL) - Staff members at Monroe Community College saw the exact extent of damage to solar panels they installed at a university in Haiti Friday.

Long before the earthquake, a group named Partners in Progress made it a mission to help the people of Haiti.

Monroe Community College's IT Director Brian Lay and coworker Alex Babitch worked on the project. They installed solar panels to power a computer lab on the roof of Haiti's University of Fodowa.

The group finished the project in October of 2008.

"They were able to access information via the internet that wasn't available to them in any other way or any other form," said Lay.

Students and staff embraced technology. In fact, they found out via a text message from a Haitian professor what happened to the University of Fodowa after the quake.

"He and the students ran from the building that was collapsing around them," said Lay.

Lay says Partners in Progress plans to return to Haiti and help rebuild the university and solar panels. They also hope to help build an elementary school.

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