We are very proud of the following video, showing the successful Solar Muscle project that Flexiway Solar has implemented together with the Kokoda Track Foundation in Papua New Guinea.
Lighting up the Kokoda Track: the video
This is a segment of Australia’s Channel 10′s The Project, which they generously shared with us. The photos are mostly screenshots from Channel 10′s video report, additional pictures and the press release supplied by the KTF, all rights reserved.
(The segment is 5 minutes, the part about the lights starts at 1’50”)
Here are some screenshots of the happy villagers and thankful kids who can study again, KTF’s director Dr Genevieve Nelson and Mr Bede Tongs, WWII veteran. (c) Channel 10, Australia.
The project: lighting up the Track
The Kokoda Track Foundation, is commemorating the 70th Anniversary of the WWII Kokoda campaign by providing 3500 solar lights to the descendants of the legendary Fuzzy Wuzzy Angels who helped out the Australian soldiers so much when needed. The KTF aims to give a solar-powered LED light to every villager along the Kokoda Track, an area without access to electricity.
“This project is a game changer. It will dramatically improve people’s lives in ways many Australians will find difficult to imagine,” KTF chairman, Patrick Lindsay, said today.“It will mean villages will no longer have to live by the dull glow of their camp fires after sundown. It will enable school students to read books and do their homework after dark for the first time in their lives. It will allow families to prepare and eat their dinner in safety and comfort.”
Partners bringing light
The KTF has partnered with Brisbane-based social enterprise, FlexiWay Solar, to source the solar lights, which were developed in Australia and Argentina and made in China. The lights are weatherproof, dust-proof and shock-proof and will last for 8 hours on full power and 15 hours on half power on a full day’s solar charge. Individual lights can be clicked together to illuminate larger dwellings, schoolrooms and community halls.
One of the heroes of the Kokoda campaign, Mr Bede Tongs MM, a platoon commander in the 3rd Battalion during the battles in the area 70 years ago, delivered the first solar lights to Koko village, near Kokoda, this week. Mr Tongs also presented graduation certificates to 56 teachers who qualified for an Elementary Teaching Certificate last week by completing a six-week course run by the KTF in Koko village.
“It was an honour to bring some light to the lives of the families of the men who helped us all those years ago,” Mr Tongs said. “I was overwhelmed by the welcome I received from both the villagers and the graduates,” Mr Tongs added. “I felt I was representing my comrades, especially those who did not return home with us. ”I’m sure the new teachers will make a huge difference in improving the prospects of the coming generations of people from the area and the lights will change lives dramatically.”
A great challenge with great success
The Foundation has just returned from Papua New Guinea where it delivered 3,500 solar lights to more than 30 villages throughout the catchment area – giving every adult living along the Kokoda Track a source of light.
The Foundation travelled by foot, road, air and water into the communities across the Oro and Central Provinces and engaged local volunteers and porters to assist in delivering the lights. Villages that previously had no access to lighting now have multiple light sources for every household in the village.
Lighting up the developing world
Solar lighting projects across the developing world have been shown to have numerous benefits for families and communities including alleviating poverty, promoting health benefits, preventing fire hazards, and enabling educational opportunities.
Villages reported that the lights will make a vital contribution to their livelihoods and will enable them move around their village after dark in safety, to work on small businesses for longer, and to give their children more time to complete their homework and studies after dark. Schools and community halls in the region are reporting running classes after hours and having the ability to offer up more training than before.
Partnering with Flexiway Solar Solutions, the Foundation has delivered 3,500 solar lights which have the ability to click together so that families can come together at night and share meals and participate in community meetings – under a panel of solar bright enough to light a community hall or school classroom!
The Foundation is relying on the generous support of its Trek Operator Partners to fund this program and distribute the lights. Click here to see who was helping us to Light Up The Track!
What is the Kokoda Track?
The Kokoda Trail or Track is a single-file foot thoroughfare that runs 96 kilometres (60 mi) overland — 60 kilometres (37 mi) in a straight line — through the Owen Stanley Range in Papua New Guinea. The track is the most famous in Papua New Guinea and is known for being the location of the World War II battle between Japanese and Australian forces in 1942. (WikiPedia article)
Who is the Kokoda Track Foundation?
As you can read on our Partners page:
The Kokoda Track Foundation is an Australian philanthropic organisation which aims to repay the selfless help given to Australia during WWII by the ‘Fuzzy Wuzzy Angels’ of Papua New Guinea by helping to improve the lives and futures of their descendants.
It does that by assisting with their education and healthcare, by trying to protect their environment, by helping to foster the growth of an eco-friendly trekking and tourism industry from which they can benefit, by working to keep the story of Kokoda alive, and by seeking to identify and foster the next generation of PNG leaders.
Who is FlexiWay Solar?
Flexiway Solar Solutions wants to improve the lives of our fellow human beings by replacing dangerous and expensive kerosene lamps by affordable Solar-powered LED lights, creating a brighter future for everybody on our planet.
Together with the KTF, FSS designed the PNG project, delivered 3000 lights for the lowest price possible and donated 500 additional lights, thanks to our supporters who donated through our IndieGoGo project as well as directly.
The KTF and FSS will keep on working together to brighten up the lives of the people of Papua New Guinea even more in the future. Contact Flexiway Solar solutions to see how we can bring light to your projects as well.
- 1 Alleviate poverty Reduce poverty by saving 25% of household costs!
- 2 Health benefits removing toxic and dangerous kerosene from households
- 3 Prevent fire hazards Kerosene lamps are leading cause of house fires
- 4 Enabling education Students can study better & longer, more money for books
- 5 Save our planet Stop global warming, deforestation and pollution
- 6 Increase income Light at night can create additional income streams
- 7 Empowering women LED lights create a brighter future for women and girls
- 8 Empower communities Light generates joint income, offers new possibilities
- 9 Increase safety bringing light in houses and community
- 10 Solar education Teach students and entrepreneurs about solar