Flight Centre Helping Children Experiencing Energy Poverty

2.5min read

Published 30 November 2018


Find out what Flight Centre and Beyoncé, along with thousands of tiny lights and big-hearted people, are doing together this week.

If you haven’t heard of SolarBuddy or the Global Citizen Festival: Mandela 100, they are both worth noting and both are making a big impact this week, in a partnership with Flight Centre.

SolarBuddy Makes Brighter Futures

And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.” – Nelson Mandela

1.4 billion people around the world live with the devastating consequences of energy poverty, many of whom are children.

Without electricity, they rely on dangerous fuels like kerosene and firewood for light when the sun sets. The burden to search out these fuels is tasked to women and children, taking young people out of school and causing indoor pollution, therefore continuing the poverty cycle.

Children fortunate enough to be enrolled in school still must inhale toxic kerosene fumes, not to mention are at risk of damaging fires. The challenges to study at night dramatically limit their chances at a better, brighter future.

Flight Centre Travel Group is taking action.

On the eve of the Global Citizen Festival: Mandela 100, Flight Centre is gifting 6,000 SolarBuddy solar-powered lights to impoverished African students. The festival calls on world leaders to critically address poverty, with this year’s event highlighting the legacy of the host nation’s former leader, Nelson Mandela.

On Saturday, December 1st, the solar lanterns will be distributed to eight schools in Botshabelo, South Africa. “Botshabelo” means “a place of refuge.” The town was created during apartheid and still suffers from economic and educational inequality.

SolarBuddy and Flight Centre

“It always seems impossible until it’s done.” – Nelson Mandela

SolarBuddy is an Australian-based charity that donates and distributes solar-powered lights to children across the globe who live with no electricity. SolarBuddy was the brainchild of Simon Doble, who, on a camping trip in Queensland, thought of the millions of refugees forced into complete blackness when the sun sets. Dobe invented the small, square solar-powered unit which provides light for up to 16 hours.

Throughout the year at key events, Flight Centre Travel Group employees worldwide assembled the solar-powered, LED lights. In addition to the completed SolarBuddy lanterns, FCTG staff penned personal letters with words of encouragement to the young recipients, ranging from educational insights to their own personal plights.

The delivery of the 6,000 gifted SolarBuddies coincides the Global Citizen Festival: Mandela 100, taking place on Sunday, December 2, 2018.

Global Citizen Festival: Mandela 100 

“When people are determined, they can overcome anything.” – Nelson Mandela

The Global Citizen Festival started in 2012 to celebrate worldwide philanthropy and to galvanize world leaders in addressing global issues. Taking place in South Africa this weekend, the festival commemorates what would have been the 100th birthday of the great Nelson Mandela, who shone a light on injustices within his country, and the world.

This year’s event is inspired by his teachings and is a tribute to what Mandela achieved and conquered in his life. The entertainment lineup includes Beyoncé, Jay-Z, Ed Sheeran and Coldplay’s Chris Martin, among notable South African musical guests.

Along with these celebrities of song, there are many unsung heroes that will be in attendance, including a Flight Centre delegate. FCTG held a recent competition with its employees and chose a staff member merited for outstanding global philanthropy, upholding FCTG’s commitment to corporate social responsibility.

Help Flight Centre Canada End Energy Poverty

“Education is a basic human right and we are proud to be partnering with the Flight Centre Foundation, Global Citizen and Adopt-a-School SA who are helping us to achieve our mission to provide safe, reliable, effective and innovative solar energy solutions to communities who suffer from the limiting effects of energy poverty.” – Simon Doble, Founder & CEO of SolarBuddy

There’s even more good news. You can help significantly improve the life of a child who has no access to electricity, helping them fuel their dreams.

For every passenger, on every Better Beach package booked, Flight Centre will donate a SolarBuddy to needy children and youth in the Dominican Republic, with the goal of eliminating energy poverty on the island by 2020. We are very excited about this opportunity and hope our clients will be, too.

To date, SolarBuddy has delivered 63,000 lights to 21 countries, improving more than 320,000 young lives with brighter futures.

Contact a Flight Centre Expert Traveller for more information about our Better Beach collection, and how to bring light to those who need it most.

Flight Centre

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