Our Stories

Brightening futures through our SolarBuddy partnership

Did you know that energy poverty plunges 1.4 billion into complete darkness every night, as they lack equal access to clean power? As a result, millions rely on primitive forms of energy like charcoal and firewood, which have a huge devastating impact on the environment, economy, health and education of millions of children. 


We’ve seen first hand how students like Chamkal are falling behind on their studies because they’re unable to read in the evenings once they’ve finished helping their families around the home. That’s why we decided to partner with SolarBuddy, an Australian charity uniting a global community with a big dream to deliver six million solar lights to children living in energy poverty by 2030, to help them to study after dusk and improve their education outcomes. SolarBuddy’s programs allow us to transform lives through the gift of light while learning how innovative design solutions can help create a more sustainable world.


Since partnering with SolarBuddy in 2018, we’ve distributed more than 2500 SolarBuddy lights to children living in Energy Poverty in Tanzania. The SolarBuddy lights not only allow our students to do homework and read at night, but they also provide safety for parents who can use the lights in the evening once the child has finished using it for study.


“The light has enabled my children to study at home, it has even inspired neighbour children to come to my home in the evening to study with my children thus they have established their own group discussions at home” Mr Longyey Lulukuman, one of the parents of a child who received a SolarBuddy light in Tanzania.


With so many of our students now learning from home with their paper-based education packs, delivering these solar lights to our communities is more important than ever. This week, our team in Tanzania received 2000 new lights to distribute to our students. SolarBuddy also have 425 lights ready to illuminate the lives of students in Kenya, as soon as it is safe to do so. In the mean time, our team in Kenya, have been regularly charging the lights to ensure they can light up the worlds of children living in energy poverty once COVID-19 restrictions ease.



At So They Can, we’re always excited to partner with other organisations to maximise our impact. Whether it’s delivering education on the risks of female genital cutting, providing sanitary products to girls so that they can continue to attend school or ensuring that our communities have light to continue their studies, we know that together we can do so much more.


 “Our partnership with So They Can is a wonderful example of how when organisational values are aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, such as Goal #17 – Partnerships for the Goals, anything is possible. We cannot wait to see these lights brighten futures!”


Keep track of our work with SolarBuddy and our other programs by following us on Facebook and Instagram. You can find out more about SolarBuddy and how you can get involved here.


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