Apr 20, 2013

Feature Story

[Video Review] Light of Hope in Cambodia - 100 Thousand Solar Lantern Project

This video introduces how solar lanterns donated to an NGO in Cambodia in 2011 are being used. Please take a look and find out how such a small light can help make people lives better. The video will also make you realized once again how important international cooperation is.

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    Click on The Image to Watch The Video. Length: 2 min 58 sec
    A Literacy School in A Village Held by The Light Provided by Solar Lanterns. [6 min 56 sec]

It is said that there are 1.32 billion people in the world who do not have access to electricity. Many rural areas in developing countries still use firewood, dung, and kerosene as a source of light and energy. Each year, 1.9 million people die from smoke inhalation. This death rate is higher than that of malaria or tuberculosis.

Through the "100 Thousand Solar Lantern Project," Panasonic aims to provide 100,000 solar lanterns, which can be charged during the day and used at night, to areas without access to electricity by 2018.

Contributing to health care

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    Mrs. Kyoko Koto is A Volunteer Who Helps Provide Health Services in Cambodia. [1 min 32 sec]
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    Solar Lanterns Have Helped Significantly Improve Health Care Provided at Nighttime. [3 min 43 sec]

Mrs. Koto works at SHARE, an NGO that provides health services to Asian and African regions. In Cambodia, maternal and child health care is a serious issue. Before they had solar lanterns, people sometimes gave birth to the light of kerosene lamps. But thanks to the solar lanterns, health care providers can see wounds more clearly, check for bleeding, and altogether give better care.

Contributing to women's independence

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    Mr. Aoki, from The Kamonohashi Project, Helps Women Gain Their Independence by Giving Them Work. [4 min 25 sec]
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    Solar Lanterns Provide Light to Women Working in The Community Factory. [5 min 10 sec]

Mr. Aoki Kenta from the Kamonohashi Project is trying to help prevent child trafficking. One way to help is to provide women jobs at the community factory the project runs. Having said that, during the winter the sun sets earlier. Without light, the women can't work efficiently, and they often suffered from eye stress and headaches. But solar lanterns that light up the working area has helped improved their working conditions.

Contributing to literacy and education

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    Mrs. Urata, from The Association of School Aid in Cambodia [5 min 57 sec]
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    Solar Lanterns Light The Way to The Literacy School. [6 min 34 sec]

Mrs. Fukimi Urata from the Association of School Aid in Cambodia helps run literacy schools in rural areas. Cambodia has suffered from wars and internal conflict, and during the Pol Pot era, the education system was destroyed. There are still many children, especially in the rural areas who can't read or write even though they have graduated from elementary schools. This high literacy rate is the root of many problems in Cambodia.

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    The Literacy Supervisor, Mr. Bun Pheng Explains How Illiteracy is At The Root of Many Issues Cambodia Faces. [6 min 50 sec]
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    People Learning How to Read And Write at The Literacy Night School. [7 min 22 sec]

"For our country to develop, those of us who have had some education must act." says Mr. Bun Pheng, one of the teachers at the literacy school. There are 9 classes being offered at night. The light from the solar lanterns is helping improve the quality of these classes. Mrs. Urata of the ASAC explained, "I often hear students say, 'Learning to read and write has shone a light on our lives and now life seems brighter.' In this sense, light that Panasonic solar lanterns provide serves a very similar role."

Panasonic will continue to provide light to people living in areas without access to electricity. Please see for yourself see how important this project is, and how committed Panasonic is to the project.

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