Energy poverty is one of the worst forms of poverty, although largely one of the most unrecognised. It impinges on freedom, affecting all aspects of life. It keeps 1.4 billion people trapped in intergenerational poverty cycles and those it effects are left reliant on burning toxic forms of biomass such as kerosene just to see once the sun sets, with devastating results. Energy poverty is responsible for 4 million deaths per year; that’s more than Aids and Malaria combined. It keeps children from studying safely at night and significantly impacts their health, well-being and educational outcomes. The burning of kerosene emits black carbon; one of the worst forms carbon pollution, having an unsustainable impact on the environment and families will spend weekly up to 40% of their income on biomass.
At SolarBuddy, we believe in fairness for all, we believe everyone is born equal and it is only circumstance that separates us. We believe in the helping hand not the handout and we believe everyone, everywhere can fulfil their own, beautiful potential. We believe in the extraordinary and in testing the limits to break away from the norm, so we have committed as a team to take on the challenge of hiking 65km across Tasmania's Overland Track to raise $65,000 for Madagascar where 7.9 million children are devastated by energy poverty. $65,000 will allow SolarBuddy to donate 2,170 solar lights to children in Madagascar, 2,170 lights will: positively impact 10,850 lives, create 4,752,300 study hours over three years, offset 336,350 CO2e kgs and save families up to 80% of their kerosene expenditure.
In Madagascar, just 1 in 10 people have access to electricity and only 1 out of 3 children complete primary school with 17% of children will completing primary school with minimum reading competency. This can be attributed to their limited ability to study after school hours due to their lack of access to electricity, yet the possibilities solar energy can create are significant with Madagascar receiving 2,800 hours of sunlight per year.
Not only are we taking on the Overland Track to challenge ourselves and raise essential funds for children, we are also focused on raising awareness of the extensive issue of energy poverty and how we can all, as global citizens, can work together to end energy poverty completely.
We are calling on our amazing global community to help us make this dream come true for us and for the children. $30 will provide a SolarBuddy light to a child that will last them 10 years, seeing them through their crucial schooling career, allowing them to determine their own futures and create the life they deserve.
A huge thank you to our amazing partners at On Track Expeditions for taking us on this incredible journey and helping us continue to illuminate millions of futures.
(Source: Statistics based on World Bank, 2018)