Light Up Vanuatu with Solar Buddy
Earlier this week, we saw the very exciting culmination of a wonderful Solar Buddy project planned and implemented for children in Vanuatu by our Year 5 and 6 students.
‘Service Starts with Me’ was our Term 2 Christian Studies focus. The students decided on a project to which they could contribute meaningfully. ‘Light Up Vanuatu‘ is an International non-profit organisation that supplies solar lights for children in Vanuatu who have no access to electricity in their homes. Currently, this means that their study is limited outside school hours.
These children receive a solar light guaranteed to last three years, as well as a letter from their buddy who constructed the light. Year 5 and 6 students raised money for the lights by doing chores for others above and beyond their normal load. Windows were washed, cars sparkled, and driveways were pressure cleaned. With a total of $4470, students can purchase 125 solar kits.
The students had a fun-filled and educational time constructing their lights and writing letters to accompany them. The letters included photos of the student, and we are sure the children receiving these will be thrilled. A huge shout out to two organisations who helped us with monetary donations – Brandon and Gullo Lawyers (local) and Xpresso Mobile Café HQ (Sydney) – Mr Payne. The students were proud of their efforts, and we were very proud of them and their willingness to serve.
For me, Solar Buddy was a great experience. It made me feel happy that just a little light and a card that I made, can make such a change in a kid’s life. I even said in my card that I was so glad to be writing this letter and giving them light because it was an honour to do that. When you think about how much we have and how little they have we are so fortunate to be able to have light and share the gift of light with them.
This past term we, as a cohort of Year Five and Six, put our heads together and made this opportunity into a plan and changed many lives with Solar Buddy. A few simple chores have impacted a whole island worth of children, adults, the elderly and even whole families. This term, Solar Buddy has helped us see the true privilege we have here, living in Australia. That we should give to people in need. As they have less than us, it is the right thing to do as a Christian. It felt amazing that we got to experience this, it helped us with teamwork; we applied ourselves to others, it did not matter what their age or gender was, it was right, it helped us with our engineering skills. But most importantly, it helped us with our lives, something we will all remember for as long as we live.
I feel that this is one of the best things I have ever done because being able to build Solar Buddy solar lights and writing letters to children in an energy-poor country, is such a blessing. As a Christian, doing this really touched my heart and now, I think that I will do things like this more often. To raise money, I did a few extra chores like washing all the windows and pressure washing the driveway so I could build a solar light to go to someone in Vanuatu. I hope that the solar light I built will go to beneficial use and help the children in Vanuatu walk home safely and get better grades in school so they can get an excellent job.