Helping illuminate remote communities in Papua New Guinea

Helping illuminate remote communities in Papua New Guinea

May 30, 2022

GHD Foundation has partnered with SolarBuddy to bring energy and light and better schooling outcomes to remote communities in Papua New Guinea.

Energy poverty is one of the worst forms of poverty. It condemns 789 million people to total darkness once the sun sets and is responsible for more deaths per year than HIV and Malaria combined. It is widely unrecognised, yet widely impacts education, health and wellbeing, the environment, and economic growth. In PNG alone, 6.3 million people live without electricity access. The effects of energy poverty are wide reaching, contributing to gender gap, health and wellbeing challenges and lower living standards.

With funding from GHD Foundation, SolarBuddy’s Light for Life project will fight inequality and illuminate futures in Papua New Guinea by distributing 8,500 solar lighting systems to women and girls who live with electricity insecurity in remote communities. Some lighting units also include USB charging to increase students’ access to communication and learning resources.

Goals of this program include improved female enrolment and outcomes for both primary and elementary school students, increased female teacher satisfaction and improved outcomes for female- led businesses with the flow on affects of improve safety, life satisfaction and health and wellbeing for supported communities.

Jo Metcalfe, Managing Director of GHD Foundation, says, “We believe in giving back to help build resilient communities globally. We’re about tackling root cause issues that get in the way of access to education such as energy poverty and we are pleased to be able to make a difference.”

Tara Williams, Program and Partnerships Manager says “ Light for Life will truly change students’ lives forever, by improving their educational outcomes, and health and wellbeing. Enabling female led small businesses to operate after dusk, improve their skills, and contribute to their local economies will benefit entire communities. SolarBuddy are extremely grateful to the GHD Foundation for the difference their funding will make to thousands of lives”.