SYMBOLIC. More than providing physical light to household, Light Up Philippines also hope to help provide a brighter future for the children beneficiaries. All photos from JCI Cebu

MANILA, Philippines – In 2015, the photo of Daniel Cabrera studying by the light outside a fastfood chain went viral on social media.

The photo caught the public’s heart and he became a symbol and hope for Philippine education.

More than inspiring netizens about the diligence of the young boy, the photo also shed light on the many problems affecting the Filipino youth in the Philippines.

One of them is the reality that access to electricity remains a challenge in many communities across the archipelago.

In 2015, the viral photo inspired JCI Cebu, Inc. to start a campaign addressing this problem in off-grid communities in Cebu, relying mainly on the power of renewable source of energy.

Barely two years later, the campaign expanded to the whole country with the launch of Light Up Philippines on Friday, June 16 in Cebu City.

Lighting up Cebu

A study conducted by the Philippine Institute for Development Studies in 2013 revealed that an estimated 16 million Filipinos still do not have access to electricity.

The study found out that majority of these Filipinos who have no access to electricty are actually located in island and mountain barangays – places power companies have not reached yet. If not too expensive, applying for access to electricity in these areas are also tedious and close to impossible.

Unfortunately, there are a number of primary and secondary schools in these off-grid communities.

With the end goal of providing indigent students in these communities an opportunity to further excel in their studies, JCI Cebu, with its partners, distributed 100 solar kits to a hundred families.

This initiative benefitted at least 500 students.

The project targeted 5 island and mountain barangays in Cebu: Brgy. Labangon, Brgy. Toong, and Brgy. Buhisan in Cebu City; Hilutungan Island in Mactan; and Kinatarcan Island in Bantayan.

Brighter future

With the success of their chapter initiative in Cebu, JCI Inc., is geared towards expanding their advocacy in a bigger scale through Light Up Philippines.

Their goal is to light up 20,000 households and benefit 25,000 families and 100,000 children. (READ: ‘Access to energy is so important in the fight against poverty’)

WHOLE COUNTRY. Light Up Philippines, launched in June 16, 2017, aims to light up 20,000 households in off-grid communities across the country

"Light Up Philippines serves as our inspiration to continue doing sustainable projects that will help empower communities," the group said in a statement.

Aside from providing physical light, JCI said the project also aims to provide a brighter future for these children to maximize their potential.

Light Up Philippines also pushes forward at least 5 advocacies under the the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.

  • Quality Education – Ensuring inclusive and quality education for all and promote lifelong learning;

  • Affordable and Clean Energy – Ensuring access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all;

  • Climate Action – Taking urgent action to combat climate change and its impact;

  • Peace is Possible – promoting Just, peaceful and inclusive societies, and;

  • Partnership for the Goals – Revitalizing the global partnership for sustainable development.

To make this possible, Light Up Philippines also opened itself for possible collaboration with other institutions that also champion the same cause. – Rappler.com

For questions or concerns, you may contact JCI Mem. Joeven Lee, National Chairman, Light Up Philippines at joevenlee@yahoo.com or +63922-8209430.