.

By Derek Schlennstedt

Reach 4 Your Future Foundation and World Vision Australia have embarked on a solar lighting project that will benefit children who have no access to electricity.

Upwey South Primary School, together with Belgrave South Primary and Upwey High, are making that dream a possibility.

On Monday 6 August, at Upwey South Primary School, the Monbulk MP and Education Minister James Merlino joined World Vision chief advocate Tim Costello to launch the STEM for Social Action project.

The project involves students from schools in the hills community joining together to raise funds to buy solar lights to provide for students and communities in third-world countries.

The Solar Lighting Project aims to provide children from the Uganda Refugee Camp, Cook Islands, Fiji Islands and Solomon Islands with solar lanterns to help them with their school work and enhance their safety at night.

Mr Merlino opened the ceremony and spoke about his own father’s experience in connecting electricity in Italy in 1961 and how that despite advancements in “modern technology, work still needs to be completed globally to provide equity for all”.

He also spoke of the importance of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) as a key focus for local schools.

Upwey South Primary principal Damien Kitch spoke to the Mail about how the project gave a global focus to local learning.

He said students would learn about the physics of solar energy and electricity, as they intended to build the solar lights themselves before the lights were shipped overseas.

“This social action by local students will provide key health benefits with the reduced need for kerosene to cook food and provide light for communities in third-world countries,” Mr Kitch said.

“The conversation came up with our students about how kids in third-world countries can do their homework without power and what we can do about it.

“Samua Kerevia, a Fijian Australian Wallabies player and foundation ambassador came out and gave a talk to a small group of our students about the project, and the students immediately said ‘yep we want to get involved’.”

Mr Kitch described the program as a great collaborative effort between all the schools.

“It’s a really good opportunity for all the schools to come together for a genuine good program – it’s the right thing to do,” he said.

More News

The Mount Evelyn CFA is stocked with bargains galore. Donated household items will all be up for sale at the ...

Parks Victoria will put Health Rangers in Lysterfield Park to encourage visitors to improve their physical and mental health. Chief ...

Young people and their families will help to plan the services that affect them under a new Yarra Ranges Council ...

 Dandenong Ranges Community Finance has been inducted into Bendigo Bank’s Community Bank Hall of Fame. The company ...

 Walkers will transform Lillydale Lake into a sea of glowing light in a bid to beat blood cancer. Wandin ...

Landowners can register their burn-off with the Emergency Services Telecommunications Authority (ESTA) by calling 1800 668 511 or emailing burnoffs@esta.vic.gov....

Latest Sport

The XCR18 finale was held around the Tan Track in Melbourne on Saturday 15 September. After nine fun rounds of cross-country ...

 The future of Monbulk Rangers Soccer Club looks to be in good hands if the record numbers attending this ...