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International student contributes his knowledge

November 3, 2011

High-flyer makes  an electrifying contribution to the development of Afghanistan

Ciar van Holstein came from Afghanistan to the Netherlands in 2000 to study Aeronautical Engineering at Inholland University in Delft. His knowledge of engineering acquired at Inholland, an enormous drive and an unwavering commitment have enabled Ciar to make a remarkable contribution to the development of Afghanistan, with more still to come.

Aeronautical Engineering student Ciar van Holstein working with local people

As a student and together with the local inhabitants, Ciar van Holstein built a sustainable hydroelectric power generation plant in Afghanistan. The hydroelectric plant provides 100 houses with 2,500 inhabitants in the Foladi valley with electricity. "With limited resources it is possible to achieve a lot, if you are fully committed!"

"I have been working on the hydroelectric power plant with the local inhabitants since the beginning of July," Ciar states with pride. "It took me slightly longer than a year to collect funds and to make other preparations, such as technical drawings and a plan." The fact that the project was successfully completed, in his view, is partly due to the network which he built after his nomination for "The Face of Delft" campaign run by the City of Delft in 2010.


As far as possible, Ciar involved the villages in all the preparations and plans. "This ensured that they felt very responsible for the success or failure of the project." What was finally built was a sustainable hydraulic power plant. "I used the difference in altitude in the mountains to increase the speed and power of the water. This releases energy which is converted into electricity in a turbine. It is very simple, but it really does work."

Ciar's dream is to provide electricity to all the valleys in Bamyan province. "But for the time being I have put all these plans 'on hold'. First I want to focus on my study. In the next six months I will be in Northampton in the United Kingdom. I will be doing a flying minor and, if possible, I would like to complete the helicopter pilot training at the same time. With a helicopter it is much easier to fly through the mountains. This will enable me to help the local population slightly better and to achieve my goals quicker."

During the summer holidays and after his education, Ciar plans to build further on the realisation of his dreams. "I hope to realise all of them. My motto is: with limited funds you can achieve a lot! If you are fully committed."