Solar Powered Philippines
Darn! I left the Air conditioner and the computer running again the whole night! I should really try to make use of the timer on my AC before I hit the sack. My electric bill is off the roof and summer hasn’t officially kicked in yet. Well what can you do right? It’s a fact that ELECTRICITY in this country is SO EXPENSIVE. I also found out just recently that at this time and age there are still areas in the Philippines that doesn’t have access to electricity due to various social and financial reasons.
A group called Youth without Barriers Movement (YWBM) who’s goal is to have an active role in the fight against global climate change by moving the community to a future with a healthy environment and cleaner energy. YWBM, through the leadership of Frederick Epistola, came up with the Solar Power Initiative (SPIN) Project, which aims to provide homes in depressed areas in the Philippines access to affordable and clean power through the use of solar energy.
I was fortunate enough to talk with Frederick and he explained that these communities usually depend on burning fuels such as kerosene, charcoal and wood for light and heat, which are highly toxic (for our health and the environment) and expensive. He further explained that the SPIN Project seeks to provide these communities expanded opportunities for income generation by involving them in the production of solar power kits for distribution and installation in other depressed areas.
Under the SPIN Project, the team initially provides and installs the solar panel systems in target beneficiaries’ homes. The beneficiaries or “solar volunteers” will then undergo training to equip them in installing, maintaining and replicating their solar systems.
Meanwhile, training shall also be provided to beneficiaries (specifically, stay at-home mothers) who want to be involved in the production and reselling consumable materials (example batteries, light bulbs etc.) of the solar panel systems, thus giving them paying jobs and increasing their productivity.
More importantly, strong social preparation to educate beneficiaries on costs and the importance of maintenance is needed for the sustainability of the project.
There are so many different ways for us to help fight poverty and climate change. One way to help them is by spreading the word to your peers. Our company, Visual Ally Incorporated, supports this initiative. We encourage the online community to talk about the project so they can get enough attention and financial support to continue with this noble endeavor.
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