MANILA — The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) lauded on Friday the achievements of a group of Filipino volunteers who spread the message of sustainability worldwide through its homespun solar lights, solar-powered mobile charging system, and street lighting technologies.
“We at the DFA congratulate Mr. Illac Diaz and his Liter of Light team for keeping the international appreciation of the Philippines in the recent 100 Days Voyage of Light and the recent Edison Award it has received. They prove that Filipino humanitarian invention can make a huge difference in the lives of many Filipinos,” DFA Assistant Secretary Emmanuel Fernandez said in a press briefing at the World Trade Center in Pasay City.
On Apr. 4, 2019, the Liter of Light Foundation won a Silver Award for Social Innovation for Humanitarian Technology at the Edison Awards named after the famous inventor Thomas Alva Edison.
The foundation also completed the Voyage of Light which is one of the activities of the Peace Boat, a Japan-based international non-government organization promoting the sustainable development goals of the United Nations.
The 100-day voyage started on Dec. 27 2018 and ended on Apr. 1, 2019.
Illac Diaz, the foundation director, said the success of their voyage and the award they have received show power of grassroots solutions to end energy poverty.
Diaz said they teach people how to create solar lights that are made from materials that are inexpensive and readily available — plastic bottles, used rechargeable batteries and PVC pipes.
“We chose not a high patent, not a high-tech approach, but a human approach, low tech but high impact combining our culture ofbayanihan and also the women who are the ilaw ng tahanan (light of the home). To show that we can use this community-based and women cooperative-based architecture to build, maintain and to scale the lights,” he said.
Proud of the foundation’s achievement, Fernandez said the DFA will support them in any way as their work “enhance the image of the Philippines and the Filipinos” in the international limelight.
“Mr. Diaz and the team have shown that Filipinos are wonderful innovators, and not just innovators, but humanitarian innovators,” he said.
Fernandez added that he wants to see the Liter of Light team in schools to actively ask the youth to take part in their project.
“They are true role models. They can inspire them not to be simply empowered by technology but to impart their humanitarian zeal. They embody the spirit of helping which is now lacking among our young people these days,” he said. (PNA)