SuniTAFE SolarBuddy’s 

18 Nov 2022

SuniTAFE Certificate I in Transition Education (CITE) students planned and completed a project to send SolarBuddy lights to children in Timor Leste. 

SolarBuddy is a global impact organisation uniting a global community to illuminate the futures of all children living in energy poverty. Partnering with the SolarBuddy project enabled this year’s CITE students to learn about global citizenship and social enterprise first hand! 

The students studied the impact of energy poverty to many communities around the world. They learnt of teenagers studying under street lamps because of lack of power to their houses, children suffering from the effects of toxic fumes from kerosene lamps and families with such low incomes they could not afford housing with electricity. 

Australian Simon Doble founded SolarBuddy to address the physical, economic and environmental effects of energy poverty. Placing a SolarBuddy in the hands of children worldwide who live in energy poverty has wide reaching effects on a generation.  25 SolarBuddy lights impact 125 lives, create 182500 extra study hours at night over three years, save the wages of 25 families for sixteen weeks and are the equivalent to the environmental effect of planting 532.5 seedlings. 

The CITE Solar Buddy project involved:  
•    planning and fundraising around $800 to purchase 25 lights  
•    ordering and constructing the solar lights  
•    writing letters to the children who will receive the lights  
•    arranging a courier to collect constructed lights and letters. 

The CITE students raised money through selling handmade granola and running their version of the greatest vanilla slice at the Chat N Chew café on SuniTAFE’s Mildura campus. When the SolarBuddy kits arrived the class participated in a Zoom session with SolarBuddy headquarters to gain construction tips and ideas for the letters. 

The 25 SolarBuddy lights are on their way to Timor Leste, the children who receive the kits will communicate with the CITE students.  This project has been an invaluable experience for CITE students and allowed the students to contribute a practical solution to other students living in poverty in Timor, and learning many things including global citizenship.

Certificate I in Transition Education (22567VIC)is a one year course supporting learners with intellectual disabilities to become active participants in the community. The course assists learners to develop life skills and supports self-development so that they can explore suitable options such as employment, further study or community participation.  

Call 1300 478 648 to learn more or check the course page here - 22567VIC Certificate I in Transition Education | SuniTAFE

Transition Education 2023 course information session – Thursday November 24 at 3.30pm – SuniTAFE Mildura campus.