Energizer Spreads Positivenergy by Lighting Up Poor Communities with OML Phils.Tuesday, March 13, 2012
A unique project that aims to raise awareness of the need for safe, healthy, and efficient lighting systems all over the country has been launched by Energizer, makers of the World’s Longest Lasting batteries, together with One Million Lights (OML) Philippines, the local chapter of the global California-based OML non-profit organization.
This partnership is an off-shoot of the Energizer Global Night Race event with the theme: “Race for a Brighter World” – a series of night races taking place around the globe to raise awareness for the need for clean and healthy lighting in communities without access to electricity. It’s the first global celebration of the new Energizer platform called That’s Positivenergy™, which combines performance plus responsibility and demonstrates Energizer’s long-standing commitment to responsible power and serving the community.
Over the years, Energizer has been an advocate of positive change in the lives of the Filipinos. Its most notable partnership with GMA Kapuso Foundation provided indigent hearing-impaired children a chance to learn and integrate into society through the donation of hearing aids and Energizer Zero-Mercury hearing aid batteries. It’s most recent partnership is with Manikako, a non-profit organization that offers free doll-making workshops to less fortunate Filipino children, to help discover creativity, resourcefulness and environmental responsibility, which can help them rise above poverty.
Working with the global non-profit One Million Lights, Energizer donated 11 million hours of solar light in 2011 and has pledged to donate an additional 12 million hours of light in 2012 to help rural families work, study and play a little longer each day. The Philippines is one of the four recipient countries of solar-powered lights, along with Argentina, Kenya, and Ethiopia.
In the Philippines, around 15 million Filipinos living in more than 2,270 barangays nationwide have no access to electricity – the very problem that Energizer and OML Philippines intend to solve.
Joan Mendoza, Energizer Philippines Inc.’s Brand Manager, said that the essence of its Positivenergy campaign is to reach out to those in need through Energizer products designed with performance and responsibility in mind. “Our advocacy is to help light the way for everyone to lead better lives, particularly the poor and the disadvantaged,” Mendoza said. “Our partnership with One Million Lights provides us with the perfect avenue to bring the values we espouse straight into the homes and hearts of people we want to touch.”
Mark Benjamin Y. Lozano, founder and country head of OML Philippines, also expressed his enthusiasm for Energizer’s commitment to the noble cause. “Energizer as a strong and globally-recognized brand provides us with greater thrust in promoting our advocacy,” said Lozano. “Its solar-powered lights are clean, safe, environmentally sustainable, and affordable for our beneficiaries, and attest to how much we place importance in alleviating this basic problem of lack of electricity affecting our fellow Filipinos.”
The hazards of lighting alternatives
OML Philippines has targeted poverty-striken rural communities in Rizal, Oriental Mindoro, Eastern Samar, Catanduanes, Ifugao, Mountain Province, Kalinga, and Apayao as the initial recipients of Energizer’s solar-powered lights.
Located in remote, isolated, and off-grid areas, these communities rely mostly on kerosene lamps and other hazardous and inadequate sources of lighting such as firewood, makeshift gas lamps, and candles. Each family spends around 30 percent of their meager income on lighting their homes.
Lozano said the campaign intends to discourage the use of kerosene as lighting since it is a health hazard responsible for 1.5 million deaths globally every year, 62 percent of cases affecting children. In addition to causing fires inside homes that are typically made of flammable materials like nipa and straw, kerosene lamps also cause skin burns and respiratory illnesses, as the fumes being inhaled are equivalent to smoking two packs of cigarettes a day.
“We conceptualized OML Philippines to help these poverty stricken communities to have better lives, which we believe can be promoted through education, health and safety, productivity and sustainability, provided by better and healthier lighting,” said Lozano.
Bad lighting also tends to worsen poverty, since the money spent on kerosene lighting can amount to up to P4,000 a year, which can be used for other necessities like education.
Clean and safe lighting
In contrast, the Energizer solar-powered lights to be given to families in chosen communities cost only P1,500 and can last up to ten years. “They are totally clean, safe, and affordable,” Mendoza said. “They are charged in the daytime and can illuminate for up to 12 hours at night.”
“Through this prime example of positivenergy, our partnership with One Million Lights will not only provide lights but also hope for the future,” she added.
The Energizer Positivenergy campaign with OML Philippines also receives tremendous help from local and international private groups like Schick, Club of Virac, Catanduanes; Rotary Club of Mindoro; Rotary Club of Victoria, Canada; Bankee Toys; PAREF Southridge School; the UP Diliman Business Administration Council; and Speedtech Toys International Corporation.