#WATWB September 2019 Australian children make solar powered lights to help kids in PNG

Welcome to the We Are The World Blogfest #WATWB for September 2019. Due many commitments by our team of volunteers, we are beginning with less than the usual co-hosts for this month.

Sylvia Stein, Eric Lahti, Shilpa Garg, and Lizbeth Hartz.

Please visit our co-hosts and any other #WATWB posts that you are drawn to.

My post for this month is not from one of the flashy commercial news networks. Nor does it feature countries that are considered major players on the stage that influences the world. But, it is good news.



Photo Source: Solar buddy youtube via SBS News Australia.

Australian children are making solar powered lights so that children in Papua New Guinea can have light to do their school homework and similar things. Along with Greta Thunberg it seems that more young people are teaching us about care for each other in a way that cares for the environment as well.

I’m so pleased that SBS News Australia have brought this audio story to my attention as I was simply listening while at lunch. As the SBS story reports, some of the Papua New Guinea children are doing their homework by old kerosene lights! Not only are they old technology, but they are toxic, potentially unsafe and not the best source of light. Here are Australian children making lights that are solar powered and having them sent across to Papua New Guinea. That is being a good neighbour.

The link to the audio is in the paragraph above.

Now, some tasters from the written article

Thirty-eight per cent of children under the age of eight in PNG can’t read or write, while 1.4 billion people from around the world don’t have access to reliable electricity.

Students from the Holy Cross Primary School, in Sydney’s east, are among 55 schools participating in a program hoping to curb those numbers.

The program allows students to build solar-powered lights which are later sent overseas to children living in remote communities.

Julia Savage, 12, said she couldn’t imagine life without electricity.

“I think it would feel really weird,” she told SBS News. 

“I’ve become so used to using electronics – it’s kind of normalised – but if I was living in Papua New Guinea I’d find it quite hard.”

The initiative is being led by Australian charities Solar Buddy and Origin Foundation.

Origin Foundation’s Emma Barton said the lights can also have economic and health benefits for people living in isolated regions.

“A lot of people are relying on kerosene lamps, candles and wood,” she said.

“It’s bad for their health, it’s bad for the environment and it’s costing a fortune.

“About 40 per cent of the household income is going towards those types of fuels.”

You can also read more.

Giving light to someone can be a way to open adventure to them.  Such things are hinted in this excerpt of a poem.

Sometimes, When the Light


Sometimes, when the light strikes at odd angles 

and pulls you back into childhood

and you are passing a crumbling mansion 

completely hidden behind old willows

or an empty convent guarded by hemlocks 

and giant firs standing hip to hip,
Full poem, courtesy of the Poetry Foundation here.



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