AirAsia, Liter of Light bring solar lamps to Zamboanga’s indigenous people

AirAsia Liter of Light brought lamps to Zamboanga
The Light it Forward solar-powered light bottles can light up an area of up to 50 square meters for 14 hours for a period of 5 years. Photo from Air Asia.

AirAsia Philippines and the Liter of Light Foundation have brought the Light it Forward solar lamps to the indigenous people of Zamboanga.

The partnership between the airline and the award-winning social enterprise made it possible for the solar lamps created by an army of Light it Forward video challengers to reach 65-family beneficiaries belonging to the Subanon and Sama Bangigi tribes from Simariki Island, Barangay Talon-talon in Zamboanga City.

The Subanon and Sama Bangigi Tribes were among the indigenous communities heavily affected by the 2013 Zamboanga Siege. Simariki Island was one of the most devastated areas, as the incident resulted in the community’s destruction, and loss of livelihood and community structures, leaving them at ground zero.

With the community’s main source of income centered on fishing and seaweed farming that is incorporated in their culture, lighting is a necessity to aid them in their livelihood and education, especially at night.

The challenge of not having electricity in houses on stilts has been severely aggravated by the ongoing COVID19 pandemic.

AirAsia Philippines CEO Ricky Isla said, “The 2013 Zamboanga siege was a difficult time, especially for our Muslim brothers and sisters. These bottles shall illuminate not only their homes but their lives, as it gives hope that there is indeed a better and brighter future for all of us.”

“AirAsia is indeed grateful to have partnered with Liter of Light in providing support and assistance to indigenous communities who are in need. We are with you and this is just the start. We look forward to continuing our mission of lighting it forward,” he added.

AirAsia and Liter of Light bring the hope of light to Zamboanga
AirAsia and Liter of Light bring the hope of light to Zamboanga
from left to right: AirAsia Spokesperson Steve Dailisan, Zamboanga City Vice Mayor Rommel Agan, Liter of Light Org Founding Chairman Illac Angelo Diaz, Sama Bangigi Chieftain Nasir Ismula and Ateneo Center for Community Extension Services Director Loreta Sta. Teresa.

Local Chieftain Nasir Ismula said, “We thank AirAsia and Liter of Light for bringing us these liters of hope. Hope because this will significantly help our livelihood and will aid our children who study at night. We are grateful because although we are far, you made us feel that we are remembered.”

Liter of Light Org founding Chairman Illac Angelo Diaz said, “The purest form of helping is to make yourself obsolete. With AirAsia, we are not only providing the initial materials for building Solar Lights and Public Lights, but also transferring technology and know-how to Zamboanga so that slowly, these green technologies can start here in parallel.”

“Energy poverty must be decentralized and localized to where the community needs to be empowered. Thanks to AirAsia, we can now bring our workshops down to the South,” he added.

The Light it Forward solar-powered light bottles can light up an area of up to 50 square meters for 14 hours for a period of 5 years.

The solar lamps were created by the APSIPA-awarded Light it Forward campaign led by the Liter of Light Foundation in partnership with and the Rotary Club of Makati Business District.

To learn more about Liter of Light and its Light It Forward campaign: visit the Light it Forward website here, and the Liter of Light Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube.

SEND CHEERS in the comments below to Air Asia and Liter of Light for partnering to bring solar lamps to Zamboanga City’s indigenous people.

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The Good News Pilipinas Team is a group of Filipino journalists who advocate putting more good news stories about the Philippines and Filipinos on the media.