Smiles lit up the faces of San Juan residents, while Solar Bottle Bulbs brightened their homes.
San Juan City, Philippines, 17 March 2012—QI employees lent a hand in an ambitious project that aims to light up a million homes in the Philippines. If you think that’s a lot, consider there are still 2 million households that remain powerless.*
Isang Litrong Liwanag—meaning A Liter of Light—is a programme run by MyShelter Foundation, which seek environmentally- and economically-sustainable ways to empower underprivileged communities in the Philippines. To light homes, the programme uses Solar Bottle Bulbs made from discarded plastic bottles, breathing life into waste and transforming it into something useful.
The outing with the Foundation marked the first time a corporate partner has helped to install the Solar Bottle Bulbs in San Juan. QI staff were further introduced to the Foundation through a short film about their mission and efforts, as well as the story of how the Solar Bottle Bulb came to be. After the screening, staff were taught how to make these amazing bulbs using things commonly found at home: old plastic bottles, bleach and water—easy peasy!
The QI team get familiar with making the bulbs.
With their newfound skills, QI employees and members of the Foundation visited a community in Barangay Batis, where they were taken by the village chairman to install the new (old) Solar Bottle Bulbs. When the bulbs were successfully installed in one of the houses, the owner was amazed at how a simple device could make a world of difference.
Although these lights rely on the sun, they still brighten up the villagers’ lives, literally taking them out from the dark—they can now perform daily tasks in a better environment, plus the children can study safely and comfortably at home. As with anything new, the light took some getting used to; even the pet cat kept a watchful eye over it with a combination of fascination and suspicion.
What will definitely take some time is lighting up one million homes in the Philippines, but MyShelter Foundation’s goal is to do it by 2012, and QI are more than happy to help. In fact, QI staff already have plans to keep participating in A Liter of Light initiatives through RYTHM Foundation, so together they can create a brighter future, one home at a time.
Reaching one million homes doesn’t seem so impossible after all.
*Source: National Electrification Commission 2009
More about MyShelter Foundation
Established by Illac Diaz, the Foundation aim to create a sustainable system through projects that build capabilities and generate employment. The organisation have brought to the Philippines revolutionary social enterprises, appropriate technology, and alternative construction. They have also pioneered projects, such as the Pier One Seafarer’s Dormitory, the Design Against the Elements competition, and the Bottle School Project.
A pillar of inspiration.
More about A Liter of Light
This programme is MyShelter Foundation’s latest venture, a sustainable lighting project that aims to bring the eco-friendly Solar Bottle Bulb to underprivileged communities across the Philippines. Designed and developed by MIT students in the US, the bulb works on the principles of appropriate technology, essentially providing technological options and applications that are simple, energy-efficient, environmentally sound, and locally controlled.
A Liter of Light is inspired by many innovations from around the world. Did you know many cultures have used glass bottles to allow lighting through the roof? Alfredo Moser from Brazil pioneered methods of experimenting with plastic bottles. The Philippine model is a little different, yet the difference it makes to the lives of locals is huge.