Mittagong Public School - Light the Way!

Over the past four months, classes 4/5B and 5N at Mittagong Public School have been working hard to help ‘light the way for a better future’ for kids without electricity.

In May 2017, teachers Natalie Bahls and Amanda Buchanan and their students launched a project based on empathy, the environment, energy poverty and fundraising. They wanted to raise money to buy solar lights to send to children in Uganda who do not have access to electricity.

In trying to reach their goal, they held cake stalls, second-hand book sales, a lunchtime ‘Light Games’ activity, made an art mural and lobbied local businesses. Their initial target was to raise $1,500 however in the end they more than doubled that impressive target raising a total of $3,700

Ms Buchanan said the project has been hugely formative in helping to build empathy skills for the students.

“It’s all to do with energy poverty. A fifth of people in the world don’t have access to electricity. They burn kerosene and that is lethal for your lungs. So that’s what this is helping to address,” she said.

“What we’re doing is just a tiny drop in the ocean… but I think the kids have really come on board with it. It gets them thinking about others.”

The lights will be hand-delivered to kids in need throughout Uganda by Ms Bahls and Ms Buchanan, who are travelling on a self-financed trip to the country on November 9.

They will assist in the day-to-day duties of the Watoto organisation and will be visiting local schools, churches and villages to offer our support where needed.

The teachers also plan to set up a video Skype-call between one of the schools in Uganda and the two Mittagong Public classes during their trip.

Ms Bahls said they had been surprised and delighted by how successful the project had been.

“It’s been really fun. It’s become so much bigger and better than we originally thought.”

Credit: Southern Highland News



The SolarBuddy project has been hugely formative in helping to build empathy skills for the students.

- Amanda Buchanan and Natalie Bahls - Mittagong Public School