Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Lively High School Students Help Light Up the World

The Light Up The World Foundation brings ultra-efficient, durable and near permanent White Light Emitting Diodes (WLED) lighting solutions powered by renewable energy to the world's poor in ecologically sensitive and remote rural areas.LUTW has lit up more than 14,000 homes in 42 countries.

Since, 2005, families in rural Costa Rica have been benefiting from solar powered LED lighting was initiated and is coordinated by David Wiwchar
a science teacher at Lasalle Secondary School in Sudbury, Ontario and his wife, Pam.

For 17 Rainbow District School Board students, the March holiday was spent spreading a little light into the lives of less fortunate people. The students took part in the Ligh Up Costa Rica campaign, delivering 100 LED lighting systems to some of the poorest and remote areas in the world. Another 100 systems are scheduled for delivery this fall.

“Students backpacked into the mountains to install systems after an Eco-Adventure itinerary that included visits to volcanoes, coral reefs, rainforest canopy zip-lines, a sloth rehabilitation centre and educational parks,” says David Wiwchar, vice-principal of Lively District Secondary School. Wiwchar has been leading the local “Light Up Costa Rica” effort since its inception six years ago.

“Approximately 350 homes have now been lit, a remarkable achievement for the enthusiastic students who have participated in this project over the past few years,” says Wiwchar.
“Each panel benefits five to 10 members, on average, in a household. With our most recent delivery, more than 1,750 people will have received the gift of light as a result of the generous contributions of our many donors.”

Students and teachers involved in the project — from Lasalle Secondary School, Lively District Secondary School and Manitoulin Secondary School — commended the communities of Sudbury, Espanola and Manitoulin for their ongoing support of this project.

“Donations toward the lighting systems, at a cost of $150 each, and sponsorship of student travel enabled young people in Rainbow Schools to experience the joy of volunteering as they met their graduation requirement of 40 hours of community service,” says Wiwchar.
A total of 68 students have participated in the Costa Rica excursion since the launch of the project. “These students have lived an incredible volunteer experience, bringing light to hundreds of children and families in the rainforest,” he adds.

The public will be able to view a slide show of the 2009 trip to Costa Rica at the Earth Day celebration on Saturday, April 18, 2009 at Market Square.

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