Light­ing the way for­ward for kids

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - FRONT PAGE - Tyler Roodt

PUPILS at Mar­coni Beam

Pri­mary School will get a much­needed boost in the form of 1 700 so­lar-pow­ered lights to help im­prove their ed­u­ca­tional en­vi­ron­ment.

Flight Cen­tre has part­nered with Aus­tralian com­pany So­larBuddy, who pro­vided the so­lar lights for the school, and Clean C, a non-profit or­gan­i­sa­tion who has done work in the area pre­vi­ously.

One light will be given to each pupil at Mar­coni Beam Pri­mary next week.

Sam van Gool, Peo­ple­works gen­eral man­ager at Flight Cen­tre Travel Group said: “En­ergy poverty af­fects one in five peo­ple on the planet.

“This not only causes se­ri­ous health and safety con­cerns, but ed­u­ca­tion is also neg­a­tively im­pacted.”

Greg Player of Clean C said: “In a four-by-four-me­tre shack with no win­dows, it’s ba­si­cally im­pos­si­ble for kids to do home­work or read as it’s too dark. There’s a mas­sive need for safe light­ing.”

In ad­di­tion to pro­vid­ing more light, the so­lar lights will also pose less of a health risk to chil­dren who have to make use of paraf­fin lamps in their homes, as they do not pose a fire haz­ard or emit toxic fumes.

Player noted that they would also be cheaper as it would not need any elec­tric­ity.

“The So­larBuddy lights also mean that Joe Slovo Park res­i­dents won’t need to worry about un­safe or un­re­li­able elec­tric­ity con­nec­tions in their homes and will re­duce their en­ergy costs,” he said.

The part­ner­ship be­tween Flight Cen­tre and So­larbuddy has been go­ing since 2016 and they have since do­nated more than 40 000 so­lar lights to kids in 20 dif­fer­ent coun­tries.

“A sim­ple so­lar light can change lives. I am re­ally ex­cited about their jour­neys and the amaz­ing sto­ries they’re go­ing to share with us,” said Van

Gool.

The han­dover will take place on Oc­to­ber 10 at Mar­coni Beam Pri­mary.

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