Remember that contest that I shared awhile back? The one where Philips asked Filipinos nationwide for their ideas on how to make life easier for themselves?
The public spoke.
And the finalists were chosen.
On March 25th, a panel of experts composed of the WWF-Philippines, the Department of Health, the Director for National Center for Health Promotion, ICANSERVE Foundation, and local Philips executives announced the winning idea based on its impact, innovativeness, relevance, and feasibility for the areas hit hardest by Typhoon Yolanda/Haiyan.
It comes as no surprise to me that the award winning idea comes from Illac Diaz and his Solar Night Light Project. Known for his Liter of Light which has helped light thousands of homes all over the world in many different countries, he is no stranger for doing good in communities that need the most help. Together, Philips Meaningful Innovations and My Shelter Foundation will aim to brighten the lives of Filipinos most affected by Typhoon Yolanda/Haiyan.
Many people are still living in the bunk houses that the government has been built for them. Electricity is still scarce. The infrastructure needed to sustain the needs of the people is not fully in place, and having a source of light in an area which is still “off the grid,” will help the quality of life for 13,000 Filipino families in an immediate and concrete way.
By building on the Diaz’s design, Philips and MSF will reuse plastic soda bottles and simple circuit boards constructed from readily available parts, to provide solar lighting near and in the bunkhouses of the displaced families. Philips and My Shelter Foundation will continue to work on a prototype which will be sampled and then appraised. Once the design is finalized, Philips hopes to inspire the families in the affected community by launching the solar night lights before the end of this coming December. “Each solar light will save 200 kilos of carbon emissions by preventing burning of fossil fuels that is commonly used by power plants to generate electricity.”
Through this innovative solar powered light, Philips country manager, Fabia Tetteroo-Bueno, hopes to inspire the families as they pick up the pieces to move on. “We’re not just lighting up homes – we’re providing hope to more families for starting anew.”
I love the idea that Philips is taking a Filipino’s idea to the next level in helping…it’s not only a greener solution to an immediate problem in the areas that need it most-it’s a solution that Philips obviously has expertise in. I hope to share more information with you about the progress of Philips Innovations and The Solar Night Light Project that will foster better, healthier, and easier lives for Filipinos in The Visayas. If you would like, feel free to visit the website or the Facebook page to stay up to date on what’s happening with the program.