By: Mary Elizabeth Perez June 2017
The village of Panuran is located on the island of Panay in the Philippines and is 38 miles from Iloilo City. The population consists of indigenous people belonging to the Bukidnon tribe. Their governance system includes an elder chieftain and a cultural master. The people live in houses made of bamboos and galvanized steel, and they primarily work as farmers, planting bananas, yams, and other root crops.
Due to their economic backgrounds and the mountainous location of the village, the people lack proper access to electricity. Currently, they rely on the usage of kerosene lamps for lighting. But, students find difficulty in studying with them because of the poor lighting they provide. Solar lamps will benefit this community in many different ways. Students will be able to effectively study at night, and adults will be able to work when it’s dark. Solar lamps will also reduce family expenses and reduce the risk of the harmful effects of the usage of kerosene lamps. Some of the possible results of exposure to kerosene are irritation of the eyes and skin, drowsiness, dermatitis, coma, and even death.
I’m interested in helping the people of Panuran because I believe in the importance of volunteering and helping those who are less fortunate than I am. I also think it’s important for me to see life from other people’s perspectives and really experience what they’re going through, as their lives are very different from mine. Experiencing firsthand the lives of others in another country is crucial in developing a sense of empathy and understanding, and I would be able to grow a greater sense of the world around me. Distributing lights will help make a difference in the lives of others by sharing the resources I have with people who don’t have access to them. Lights are essential in being able to perform daily activities in my life, and it’s astonishing to think that other people aren’t exposed to that privilege everyday. I would like to be able to not only share lights with these people, but share their stories with others.
I will be traveling to Panuran over the summer and would like to raise funds to cover 100 lights. It would be very well appreciated if you would consider donating money to this cause to change the lives of people of Panuran.