Somerset Times

Somerset Solar Buddies




Somerset Times Edition

Week 2, Term Three, 2018

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To understand my ‘SolarBuddy’ journey, let me start by explaining that my Dad works in PNG. I’ve seen the difficult conditions the majority of Papua New Guineans live in.

It’s hard to think that those living so close to Australia can be living such a different life.

Although I badly wish to, I can’t improve everyone’s standard of living over there, but at least I can help make a few students' daily lives easier. For $25.00 each this can be done by providing solar light kits from ‘SolarBuddy’ for students to construct and write a personalised letter to PNG children. Many families in PNG live without power, a solar light helps them do homework, read, learn and benefit the whole family.

Mrs Grocott suggested that we use part of the Year 6s' Celebration of Entrepreneurship Kidpreneur profit to purchase 27 solar lights. In our Kidpreneur groups we constructed the lights and wrote letters to the kids. Originally I was going to deliver them in December but things didn’t quite go to plan due to troubles and a series of earthquakes in PNG, but these holidays I finally got there. My Dad organised for me to deliver the lights to students at the nature park. After I went on a nature walk with the students I handed out the lights and letters and spent time with them while they wrote replies. One girl even remarking in her letter, that it was the best gift she had ever received.

This initial connection has moved me immensely and it would not have been possible without everyone’s help in Year 7 (Year 6, 2017). To personally meet all these caring, positive and truly grateful students was a priviledge for me as I could see how much it meant to them to receive a solar light. This journey isn’t over yet. I’m yet to give the letters back to the students in Year 7 and I’m currently working with my teachers to make this an annual service activity for the Year 6 students to participate in.

I look forward to returning to PNG to deliver more solar lights in the near future to help provide those extra rays of light and brighten the smiling faces of these lovely people.

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