Tiphaine Houssin, ENGIE Group Employee, tells us about her commitment to Energy Assistance France.

Tiphaine, what is your background?

I am a thermal engineer by training, I worked for two years in a research  office specializing in energy audits of collective housing with the aim of renovating them and reducing their energy consumption.

I joined the Engie Solutions BU 5 years ago as a research engineer in the South sales department. Concretely, I respond to calls for tenders on the creation or renewal of urban heating and cooling networks in order to develop renewable energies in our territories.

Why did you get involved in Energy Assistance?

I chose to work in the field of energy to take part in the climate challenge and change the way we consume our resources.

I wanted to join the Engie group to be able to participate in large-scale projects with a strong and short-term impact. Heating networks impact neighborhoods, entire cities. But I wanted to feel even more useful and go out into the field. That’s why I looked for an association to join in which I could invest myself and in which I could find my convictions. That’s why I chose to join the Energy Assistance association in 2020.

What was your mission?

When I joined the association, I had no field experience. I simply contacted Anne Rotschi, permanent member of the NGO, to offer me as a volunteer on a mission. It was her who positioned me on the mission of electrification of a school and a health center in the village of Goka Kope in Togo.

This mission was funded by Engie BtoC via the Engagement program of its individual customers.

It was organized with our partner the Komla Project and the Togolese Children’s Association, some of whose members were on site at the time of our mission. They are the ones who welcomed and hosted us.

The challenge through this mission is to allow students to follow their schooling in good conditions. The village also wishes to develop literacy classes for adults, mainly women who work during the day. Giving them access to electricity and lighting will allow them to respond to this problem by offering evening classes. Finally, the photovoltaic installation will also provide access health care to all villagers in good sanitary conditions.

The studies and the order of the equipment had already been carried out by two retirees and veterans of the association, Guy Pedron and Bernard Lamour, before I arrived on the project. They ordered all the equipment from a local company located in the capital Lomé. So the three of us left, with Guy and Bernard, in February 2022.

When we arrived our first mission was to check that all the equipment was in good number and in good condition.

We stayed in an accommodation center 30 minutes from the village of Goka Kope.

The village is equipped with a primary school and a kindergarten. There are 230 students, half of them are girls. A health centre was under construction at the time of our mission.

We installed 6 solar panels and the control kit in the main building. Our work went as far as the installation of the entire interior electrical distribution (plug, lamps). This installation was sized to power all the buildings of the school and the care center.

Your impressions?

I have very fond memories of this mission. We were very well received by the village chief, the teachers, and the villagers.

I was very moved to see so much enthusiasm with the villagers to come and observe and participate in the work. Many of them came back with us every day. They were curious to learn how to install all the equipment.

It was quite easy to talk to the men, but almost impossible with the women who did not speak French, except for the two teachers.

Another aspect that appealed to me, but more generally, was soil pollution with the dispersion of plastic bags of all kinds, even in the bush. There is a lot of awareness-raising work to be done among the population to clean up and create a waste service.

Finally, I was impressed to see the organization of the Association, the supervision that we had to carry out this mission in good conditions. I felt confident when I left the France and proud to have left Togo leaving a working facility.

What do you expect from the ENGIE Foundation?

This is exactly the kind of action I expect from the ENGIE Foundation. Allowing everyone to have access to energies and to make available to all the most virtuous energies possible is what motivates me, and I have made it my daily work.

We are now working to reduce our energy consumption, but we cannot forget that some do not have access to this comfort, and it is also up to us to help them develop means of green and autonomous energy production.

Allowing ENGIE employees to participate in this kind of action is a real motivation for me.