HEA - SolarBuddy

By donating you are supporting home educated students' participation in this exciting project. 

A donation of $100 will cover the purchase of 3 lights, with battery replacement for each of those lights for 10 years!

For the first time the Home Education Association (HEA) has partnered with Solar Buddy to educate and empower home educated students in sustainable technologies and to make a positive impact on our beautiful planet.

The Solar Buddy program works by providing students with a Solar Light Kit. Each kit contains one light, designed to be assembled by one student. Each student is asked to build a light, and write a letter to the child who will receive the light. The kits are then forwarded to children in need via Solar Buddy. 

Together, we can make a huge difference! Just one light will:

           • Impact 5 lives

           • Create 2190 study hours over 3 years

           • Offset carbon emissions by 155 CO2e kgs over the lifespan of the light

           • Reduce household kerosene expenditure by 80%

           • Equivalent of 2.6 seedlings grown over 10 years

Plus, you will be supporting local kids learning about sustainable technology and empowering them to become global citizens!

For more information go to http://www.hea-australia.org/solarbuddy

Where do the solar lights go?

Since 2016, SolarBuddy has distributed solar lights to around 30 countries. Some of these countries include:

           • Cambodia

           • Dominican Republic

           • India

           • PNG

           • South Africa

           • Tanzania

           • Timor-Leste

           • Vanuatu

The lights students build and the letters they write will be in the hands of children in need in a maximum of 3 months from when SolarBuddy receives the completed kits.

What’s the SolarBuddy Education Program?

SolarBuddy’s Education Program has been specifically designed to combine learning with practical application. It encourages student collaboration, intercultural understanding, creative and critical thinking. It is suitable for children of all ages and has been developed in line with the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA).

The SolarBuddy program empowers students to embrace affordable, reliable and sustainable solar energy solutions to help transform lives, economies and the planet. Through the SolarBuddy program, students will:

           • Learn about energy poverty, renewable energy and global citizenship

           • Make a solar light and write a personal letter to our buddy

           • Illuminate the lives of children living in energy poverty

Why have the students make a solar light?

The SolarBuddy Education Program has been specifically designed to be both informative and practical; a learning activity that’s hands-on and has a real-life impact. Learning focus areas can include, but are not limited to, STEM, Humanities, Sustainability, Global Citizenship and the program delivery can be student led and/or is suitable for home educators in groups or families.

Who is behind this project?

The HEA is the national not-for-profit, incorporated membership association serving Australian homeschoolers since 2001. The mission of the HEA is to promote and support the practice of home education across Australia and to advance educational equity for members. For more information visit https://hea.edu.au/

SolarBuddy is an Australian registered charity uniting a global community to create a sustainable future for our beautiful life-supporting planet and all who live in it. Through the Solar Buddy Education Program, students learn about the 1.4 billion people living in energy poverty and the devastating impact this has on their lives. Commencing in June 2016, Solar Buddy set an ambitious goal to gift six million lights by 2030, which coincides with the United Nations (UNs) deadline for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). For more information visit https://solarbuddy.org/

What can you tell me about the SolarBuddy light design?

The SolarBuddy light has been specifically designed for use by children living in energy poverty. The lights are are: 

           • Easy to operate, carry and charge.

           • Constructed from 40% recycled high UV resistant plastic (highest possible recycled % without distortion)

           • Encased in a tough rubber bumper to protect against accidental damage.

           • Waterproof - IP65 rated

           • The solar LED light is made with a 0.6W solar panel

           • 60 Lumen Light Output

           • NIMH (rechargeable) batteries

           • Overcharge Protection

           • Over-Discharge Protection

           • Simple battery replacement

           • No packaging except yellow shipping containers

Once fully charged, SolarBuddy solar lights provide 8 hours of light on full and 16 hours of light on half beam. To conserve the batteries stores of energy, the lights will only work when they’re not being charged. If you want to view the light during daylight hours you can cover the solar panel with your hand and switch it on.

The SolarBuddy lights have been endorsed by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), are used by NGOs from around the world including Australian Aid and is a core item in the UNHCR relief kit.

How many times can the batteries be recharged?

The SolarBuddy batteries are the only major depleting part of the light, recharging 500 times, which based on market research, means a lifespan of 2.5 years. SolarBuddy have committed to changing the batteries 3 times, every 2.5 years, resulting in the light lasting a child 10 years taking them right through their school years.

SolarBuddy's in-country NGO partners conduct battery replacement events, the children learn to change their own battery and SolarBuddy recycles the old batteries via responsible e-waste programs.

Is this tax deductible?

As SolarBuddy is a registered charity your contribution may be tax deductible. Please check with your business manager to determine whether this applies to you.


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Fundraising team: Home Education Association (5)

Mikhayl Von Riebon 
Raised $492 from 8 donations
Banksia Park, SA
SolarBuddy.org Ltd 
Registered nonprofit
Donations are typically tax deductible in Australia.
Learn more
Karen Chegwidden 
Team member
Raised $1,466 from 4 donations
Lynda Carlos 
Team member
Raised $70 from 1 donation
Tere Latimer 
Team member
Raised $65 from 1 donation
Larissa Pretorius 
Team member
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