A Unique Collaboration Bringing Clean Energy to the Philippines

aetas-of-zambales-photo-by-edsel-ochoa

illumination has put together a unique combination of organisations to launch a leading edge project to deliver clean, free energy to thousands of families in Philippines. The partnership of the Morris Family Foundation (Founders of global IT giant, Computershare), Kadasig Aid and Disaster ReliefPath Foundation and illumination brings together a funder, a product supplier and two grass-roots aid organisations to provide the full spectrum of program delivery.

In its first stage, the program will distribute a Camping Pack, consisting of two Mandarin 2 Solar Lights, and one Lime 2 Solar Charger to 1200 families. These families include:

1) a large number of indigenous Aetas, living without electricity in rural Philippines;

2) families who are forced to make their home in a rubbish dump around Cebu city; and

3) families displaced by the ferocious storms which have hit the central Philippines twice over the past 2 years.

Over a twelve month period the recipient families will be regularly surveyed to document the significant difference the products will make to their lives. The program expects to deliver a life-changing array of benefits to the families from a health, safety, education and financial perspective.

Stage 2 of the program will establish a Solar Social Enterprise which will market and distribute solar (and other) products in the program regions and provide an ongoing revenue stream to the participant NGO’s. this will not only mean that the wider population has the opportunity to access the benefits of solar but also provide a sustainable revenue stream for PATH and Kadasig to continue their excellent work in the region.

This initial stage of the program is estimated to result in savings over USD200,000 to the recipient families in forgone kerosene purchases and phone charging costs. Furthermore children’s study time is expected to increase by almost 70% and due to the availability of safe, clean light in the family home.

We are especially proud of this program as it is the first of its kind, and we must acknowledge the contribution of the Morris Family Foundation who have been willing to think outside the box to make sure this gets off the ground.

Please keep an eye out for further updates on the program, and get in touch if you have any ideas for similar programs.

Footnote:

The Aeta are an indigenous people who live in scattered, isolated mountainous parts of the Philippines. They are nomadic and build only temporary shelters made of sticks driven to the ground and covered with the palm of banana leaves. The well-situated and more modernized Aetas have moved to villages and areas of cleared mountains. They live in houses made of bamboo and cogon grass. Aetas are found in Zambales, Tarlac, Pampanga, Panay, Bataan and Nueva Ecija, but were forced to move to resettlement areas in Pampanga and Tarlac following the devastating Mount Pinatubo eruption in June 1991.

Mining, deforestation, illegal logging, and slash-and-burn farming has caused the indigenous population in the country to steadily decrease to the point where they number only in the thousands today. The Philippine government affords them little or no protection, and the Aeta have become extremely nomadic due to social and economic strain on their culture and way of life that had previously remained unchanged for thousands of years.

by illumination

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