April 10, 2019

Let There Be (Solar) Light

SolarBuddy: illuminating better futures for children all around the world

Ingersoll Rand and SolarBuddy are providing lights for children living without electricity

Imagine coming home at night and not being able to read, work or help your children with their homework because you had no electricity to create light. Imagine not having a safe way to cook for your family.

One man imagined these things and decided to do something about it. His name is Simon Doble, and he’s the founder of SolarBuddy, a registered Australian charity dedicated to changing the lives of children living in energy poverty throughout the South Pacific, South East Asia and Africa.

Ingersoll Rand helps light the darkness

To further demonstrate how small changes can make big impacts, Ingersoll Rand is partnering with SolarBuddy to donate and help assemble 3,000 lights that will be distributed to children in energy poverty regions throughout the year. SolarBuddy provides children who don't have access to electricity with a safe, reliable, effective, innovative solar light to use after dusk. The lights are specifically designed for children to use – easy to operate, carry and charge on their backs as they walk to and from school, which can sometimes be up to 10 kilometers. 

The lights allow them to continue studying long after the sun goes down, which helps them to reach their full potential by improving their education outcomes and overall health and wellbeing.

And, using the SolarBuddy lights means the children and their families don’t need to rely on dangerous and unhealthy energy like kerosene, diesel, wood, candles or battery-powered torches.

Heartfelt personal notes

After building SolarBuddy lights at an event earlier this year, Ingersoll Rand leaders wrote personal notes to their new solar buddies. “We use letters because these kids don't have Facebook or Snapchat or e‑mail,” Simon said. “The letters are cherished beyond your wildest imagination. I was recently back in a bullet-ridden school in Somalia for the first time in three years, and their letters are still on the wall.”

SolarBuddy by the Numbers

Since launching in 2016, SolarBuddy has seen huge growth:

·     72,500 SolarBuddy solar lights donated to children around the world

·     100,000+ students educated in 450 schools in 21 countries

·     78% increase in time children spend on homework

·     80% reduction in average weekly expenditure on kerosene as energy source

·     15,000+ employees in 50+ major corporations engaged with SolarBuddy’s                      Corporate and Conference Program (now including Ingersoll Rand!)

·     362,500 lives illuminated!

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