Solar buddy

We are embarking on a joint mission with Australian charity, SolarBuddy, to end energy poverty in PNG.


SolarBuddy is an Australian charity that provides safe, reliable, effective and innovative solar energy solutions to communities around the world who suffer from energy poverty. SolarBuddy is ending energy poverty by lighting up the lives of one child at a time. If you are interested of getting your school or company involved in Australia, please contact our friends at SolarBuddy.

Over the past 3 years, 30,000 SolarBuddy lights have been distributed to children and teachers across remote and rural PNG. This includes lights that have been fundraised and assembled by children and adults in Australia via SolarBuddy’s education program. This also includes lights that have been purchased as part of KTF’s Teach for Tomorrow project and distributed to recently trained elementary teachers.

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Distribution Approach

Schools are identified in close consultation with KTF’s teachers and Provincial Departments of Education personnel including trainers and inspectors of elementary and primary teachers across remote PNG. Schools are identified that are located in remote and rural Papua New Guinea where there is generally no or minimal connection to the electricity grid. A cluster approach is taken whereby an entire school is illuminated at a time; and once a school is completed, all neighbouring schools in the immediate catchment region are then illuminated. Contact us if you are interested in getting your PNG school involved.


Our Impact

The premise behind this cluster distribution is to enable us to track impact over time, to ensure that replacement batteries can be provided at a follow-up time (via sustainable micro-enterprises), and to ensure that our focus schools are aligned with KTF’s other education activities to foster a holistic education intervention that can be monitored over time. A recent impact study in Oro and Central Provinces found that students were studying for 78% longer as a result of owning a light and family expenditure on kerosene had reduced by 80%. Click here to read more.


Samson, Kokoda

Samson* is a Grade 7 student at a primary school in the Kokoda region. He lives in a village that is approximately 30 mins away from the school and he walks to and from school each day.

Samson’s village is remote and rural and there is no access to the grid or generator power. Samson’s family burns wood fire and sometimes purchases kerosene to burn a kerosene lantern for a source of lighting. Samson’s parents are subsistence farmers and they struggle to be able to afford kerosene.

“Ever since I received my SolarBuddy light, my family has not had to spend any money on kerosene. My brother and my two sisters are also at school and we have now all received a solar light from KTF and SolarBuddy. Now that there are four solar lights in the house, it means that my parents don’t need kerosene any more. This is better as kerosene is very very dangerous and it hurts our eyes when we read and our chest when we breathe.”

“The solar light is used for so many reasons. We sometimes read books at night to each other. We can do our school work after the sun sets because before the sun sets we are very busy - helping our parents in the garden or just sometimes having fun. Now we have more time in the dark to do homework so we don’t have to rush to do it before dark.”

“I also use my solar light to go to the toilet and walk around the village at night time. The toilet can sometimes be dangerous as you don’t know where to step and now with a solar light it makes it easier and safer.”

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