Brisbane local Simon Doble’s invention called the “Solar Buddy” is a portable light system that children in developing countries and refugees can use inside their tents or at home. The small solar sealed units have an integrated solar panel and can run for 10 hours when fully charged according to ABC News.
Mr. Doble said that when his marriage broke down, and lost his connection to his three children, it left him feeling isolated but motivated him to help other people. He said that he felt like a refugee because he was originally from England and now he’s in Australia and living alone. This isolation, exposed him to a lot of reading about refugees, thus he has created a solution for solar lighting for them to use in tents.
Doble said that the idea came to him while camping on Nosa’s North Shore. He visualised what it was like a refugee losing everything but having temporary accommodation as a base or home. Refugees can live in their camps or temporary homes for 6-10 months and he wanted to give them the same safety and security of going into their own homes.
Before starting with Solar Buddy, Doble travelled from Brisbane to the UN HQ in Geneva to get the attention of UN staffs. He went there with a camping pole that acted as a light. At first they don’t know what to with him and he just sat there all day. By the end of the day, word has gotten around and it made the UN people curious. Doble was able to get an audience with two key teams that includes an Ethiopian that had been tasked to solve the power issues of refugees. It was luck because they came on the same day, according to Doble. The meeting has led him to create The Solar Buddy.
On that day, the light of need and help have shown people that for every problem, there will be a solution. And for every darkness, there will be light.