Globally, 1.4 billion people live in communities that suffer from energy poverty.  For these communities their health, education and quality of life is significantly impacted as they are both unable to access and afford basic lighting, cooking and heating. For the young children in these communities, it is often their education that suffers without proper access to lighting at night to complete homework or participate in additional study.
To assist with this Australian Charity SolarBuddy, developed their SolarBuddy Lights that can be distributed across remote and rural communities suffering from energy Poverty. For SolarBuddy, providing safe, reliable, effective and innovative solutions to these communities is a way to end energy poverty by lighting up the lives of one child at a time.Over the past 3 years, SolarBuddy, via their various programs, has distributed over 30,000 lights to children and teachers across rural and remote Papua New Guinea  and have set up several educational and corporate events for individuals, schools and communities in Australia to get involved in building and funding of SolarBuddy lights.
In 2019, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Air-Conditioners Australia, Pty. Ltd. (MHIAA) had the opportunity to support the efforts of SolarBuddy and work with key customers and their families to build SolarBuddy lights to be delivered to Papua New Guinea. At the annual Dealer Incentive Trip, representatives from SolarBuddy presented to both the MHIAA team and customers the importance of these lights and what it will mean for the education and resources for children in these communities. During the one-day event the team members worked together to build 100 SolarBuddy lights and write letters to the children receiving these lights.
Managing Director for MHIAA Mr Yuji Ito notes that through this program, MHIAA was able to give back to not just our local communities but also international communities.
“Mitsubishi Heavy Industries is a global company working and operating in various countries. Building these SolarBuddy Lights here today and knowing the impact they will have to many children in disadvantaged communities is something we are extremely honoured to be involved in” – Mr. Yuji Ito.
The SolarBuddy Lights were distributed by the Kokoda Track foundation, SolarBuddy’s in country team to Papua New Guinea in November 2019. The SolarBuddy Lights were distributed to Fisherman Island Elementary School and Fisherman Island Primary School. Fisherman Island is located 30 mins off Port Moresby where community members struggle to access clean water, sanitation and electricity. The 100 lights distributed to students will impact 500 lives in Port Moresby and contribute to 219,000 safe study hours in the next 3 years.
For more information on SolarBuddy or to get involved with this initiative click here.