Bringing Hope to the far-flung areas of Rizal

 Kath de la Peña  

Rizal province has a mix of urban and rural areas. While there are urbanized towns, there are also rural communities that contribute to the province's diverse landscape. The province is known for its natural beauty, with mountains, forests, and rivers offering opportunities for outdoor activities and eco-tourism.

Being in such a remote area means that communities in the area do not have access to basic necessities such as power. There are no electrical transmission lines leading to where these people live, there are no proper roads as well. This usually means a person has to walk for two hours while there is daylight for them to reach the school. Having no proper access to electricity means that they have less hours in a day to work, study, play and have time to do other things. For these communities, as soon as the sun sets the day ends.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     

In partnership with Zonta Metro Club of Ortigas and Solar Hope, Power 4 All joined the Tanglaw outreach program last February 17, 2024. It was initiated by Solar Hope at Barangay San Andres to provide minihub solar home kits for 36 families and bags of hope and school supplies for 210 students in for Barangay San Andres.

The team was up as early as 3am and started loading the donations in Power 4 All’s service vehicles. The team left Ortigas at 5am and met up with Solar Hope and the other groups at Shell Boso-Boso at 6am before proceeding to San Andres.

After reaching San Andres Elementary School in Tanay, the volunteers all gathered in one of the classrooms for introductions and briefing on the activities that will be done during the day.

The volunteers were split into three teams before everyone regroups for the main program to hand over the minihub solar home kits to the families. The first team will handle the sorting and packing of donations such as school supplies, food, clothing, toys and etc, the second team will handle the kids activities such as games and donation distribution and the third team will handle the community consultation where we discuss with the families of the community their current status, what are their struggles and understand better how to support them in future programs.                                                                                                                     

After all the activities the volunteers now gathered at the main multi-purpose court where they gave the minihub solar home kits and “bags of hope” to 36 families. There was a demo conducted to teach them how to properly use, install and maintain the system and then we assisted them in checking all the minihub solar home kits to make sure that they are working.

This collaboration with Solar Hope Tanglaw project since 2021, Power 4 All light up with the total of 549 households in Tanay Rizal. Providing sustainable clean and free power to these communities has had a huge impact on the communities. People are able to wake up earlier and go to bed later, they are able to study, work in the fields or do household chores at night. They are able to socialize and interact with one another for longer hours and build a stronger community. They rely less on expensive and unsafe alternatives of light such as kerosene lamps, candles or recycled car batteries.

Clean energy and clean water are two things that Power 4 All supports to empower those living in underprivileged communities.  We aim to continue our advocacies through more projects like these and continue to #beapower4good.

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