Filipino NGO brings solar tech on int’l peace cruise

MANILAWhat started as a project to light up the power-deprived communities in the Philippines with homemade solar-lit lamps, Liter of Light's goal has turned into a Filipino-led "global impact" movement as the Makati-based group sets out on an international cruise to bring its innovation abroad.

"Our vision is to create a documentary and impact tour where you can honestly say that the Philippines was able to make a global impact," said Illac Diaz, executive director of Liter of Light, a non-government organization that visits remote communities to teach residents how to source and produce solar lights with recyclable and cheap materials.

For 100 days, the group will visit countries in the Asia Pacific, Africa, and South America in partnership with Japanese organization Peace Boat, the only cruise line backed by the United Nations in promoting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).

Diaz said the cruise, dubbed as the Voyage of Light, is the first Filipino global campaign under the SDG, with the Liter of Light focusing on renewable energy.

It is also the first time an action partner is onboard the Peace Boat for a whole three-month long advocacy trip.

"This is the first time that they partnered with an NGO to do a global impact tour. We are the only action partner (onboard) so we will work with the people on the ship to build lights then transfer the technology to people on the ground," he said.

Two of the group's products are the "house lamp," made with an 8-watt solar panel and the "bottle light" made from recycled 1.5 bottle filled with water and an adequate amount of bleach to prevent growth of algae.

The bottle of light, which functions as a deck prism, replaces the common 60-watt incandescent bulb and can light up a room up to 50 square meters during daytime.

'Sharing ideas'

The voyage, which kicked off in Yokohama, Japan on December 26, will be docking in Madagascar, South Africa, Brazil, and Patagonia.

Diaz, who was invited to a press conference at the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), said he flew back to the Philippines to rally support for the Voyage of Light's inaugural journey.

"This is our first leg that's why we are asking for support to this Filipino (initiative). As I've said we are known with boxing, we're known in entertainment, but we really want to show that we are also giving back to the world," he said.

"It's important for the world to see that the Philippines have technology and ideas that impact the world," Diaz added.

DFA Undersecretary Ernesto Abella, meanwhile, expressed optimism this will become a "global Filipino project." (PNA)

Source: Philippines News Agency

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