On March 15, Panasonic announced the donation of 4000 Solar LED Lanterns to aid the victims of the earthquake in Northeast Japan. (article) In addition to supporting the reconstruction of Northeastern Japan, Panasonic has also announced it has donated one thousand Solar LED Lanterns to the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Tanzania this April as a part of its corporate citizenship activities. A special ceremony was helped in Tanzania with local UNDP officials on April 12.
- Panasonic Energy Tanzania Co., Ltd. (PECTZ) Managing Director Yoshiyuki Sako as well as local officers from the UNDP Tanzania Attends Presentation Ceremony
At the ceremony General Manager of Panasonic's Corporate Citizenship Group Michiko Ogawa expressed her gratitude to UNDP Tanzania for their words of sympathy and encouragement regarding the earthquake in Japan. In addition, she outlined Panasonic's policy for contributing to the solution of social challenges encountered in non-electricity areas in Africa and developing countries as a whole, and toward the attainment of the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) through a combination of both business and corporate citizenship activities, in accordance with Panasonic's goals of becoming the No. 1 Green Innovation Company in the Electronics Industry by 2018.
The UNDP officers expressed their gratitude for the donation, stating that the lives of the people living in the Mbola Millennium Village would be greatly improved by Panasonic's Solar LED Lanterns by providing them the benefits of electric lighting.
The Mbola Millennium Village Project is run by the UNDP in the outskirts of Tabora, a town located in inland Tanzania, and the donated lanterns will be made available through the local Savings and Credit Cooperative Society at low-cost for people living in areas without electricity.
How the Solar LED Lanterns Will Be Used
The Solar LED Lanterns are expected to make an enormous contribution toward improving the lives of people living in Mbola Millennium Village, enabling children to study at night time and providing adults with the opportunity to supplement their income even after dark. The UNDP will conduct monitoring on the level of utilization for the six-months following the delivery of the lanterns so that Panasonic can reflect on their activities and help the people at the Mbola Millenium Village in the most useful way as possible.
Panasonic and its Corporate Citizenship Group will continue to work toward solving social problems in Africa and developing countries as a whole, in partnership with international organizations, as a part of its global corporate citizenship commitment.
What is MDGs?
The UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are an international commitment that aims to solve poverty and other social challenges in developing countries, which was formulated based on the UN Millennium Declaration adopted at the UN Millennium Summit held in New York in September 2000. The MDGs comprise the following eight goals to be achieved by 2015: 1) eradicate extreme poverty and hunger; 2) achieve universal primary education; 3) promote gender equality and empower women; 4) reduce child mortality; 5) improve maternal health; 6) combat HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other diseases; 7) ensure environmental sustainability; 8) develop a global partnership for development.
The Millennium Village Project
The objective of the Millennium Village Project is the reduction of extreme poverty, a major objective of the MDGs, through the provision of multi-faceted aid targeting the five aspects of Agriculture, Basic Health, Education, Power/Transport/Communication, and Safe Drinking Water and Sanitary Facilities for a cluster of approximately eighty villages in sub-Saharan Africa, one of the poorest regions in the world, simultaneously supporting self-reliance among villagers. The project is run as a partnership between the UNDP, the Earth Institute at Columbia University, and the NPO Millennium Promise, with close to 400,000 villagers currently having benefited from the project.