The Philippines

High school and university students halfway around the world have collaborated to organize a charitable distribution of solar lights to hundreds of families in Barangay Dugui Too and Barangay Dugui Wala, Virac, Cataduanes, Philippines.  These solar-powered lights provide a sustainable solution to the lack of electricity these people have that will surely make a big difference   their children will have more time to study. Health-wise, we prevent the inhalation of toxic fumes that are so potent, a few hours worth is equivalent to smoking 2 packs of cigarettes. But more than just helping these poor families, it helps save the environment by offsetting 20,000 tonnes of carbon emissions – something that most projects of this caliber can’t do.

This project is spearheaded by Tricia Peralta, Mark Lozano, Ben Turner, and Sierra Fan.  Tricia and Mark are high school students living in Metro Manila. Sierra Fan is a junior in Palo Alto, California, USA and Ben Turner is a senior in Alberta, Canada.  They have been actively involved with fundraising, accumulating support, promoting awareness, and arranging logistics.  Even though this journey has been full of obstacles, they have been overcome.  Through their continuous hard work and dedication, the goal of this project has become a reality.  On April 11, 2011, these students made their way to the village of Dugui Wala for a very successful distribution.

This is just the beginning of the Philippines project, which is expanding continuously toward the goal of 1000 lights by this September.  Please visit the active program page here to see the newest updates and donate toward this cause.

There have been many people and organizations who have made this possible.  Philippine Airlines, an accommodating partner, has provided free shipping for the lights.  Organizations, including various branches of the Rotarian organization, Philippine Airlines, and Gunn High School of Palo Alto have made generous donations to this cause.

Read One Million Lights Ambassador, Sierra Fan’s reflections on this distribution, click here.