As National Volunteer Week comes to a close, Nokero wanted to honor all partners and non-profit distributors of solar products worldwide. From cricket stars in Sri Lanka to family movements in South Sudan to religious groups in Haiti, people travel across the world to distribute Nokero solar products to people in need. Nokero works with NGOs, foundations, government agencies, and CSR programs to purchase solar products at the lowest possible prices and then assist with shipping and logistics to ensure that products reach a network of willing volunteers. Without the hard work, passion, and knowledge of our volunteer networks, it would be impossible to get solar products to end users.
In particular, Nokero is thankful of all volunteers who made it possible for 23,038 lights to get to the Philippines since November 2013, in the wake of Typhoon Haiyan. Volunteer Week culminates with Volunteer Recognition Day on April 20, 2014 and to remember the hard work put into relief and rehabilitation in the Philippines, we have compiled some of our favorite stories from the field. Below is a spotlight on 4 fantastic solar volunteers:
- Feed the Hungry was one of Nokero’s leading buyers for the Philippines with an initial purchase order of 1,008 N200 solar light bulbs. After the first distribution, they havecontinued to visit the Philippines with smaller orders due to the successful reception of the 1,008 lights distributed in January 2014.
- Gloria Caoile, Co-Chair, FtH Gift Giving Program, told Nokero about one of the most special moments during her visit to the Philippines. A ceremony was held to honor fishermen, seamstresses, and farmers; however, the lights went out during the ceremony due to a ‘brown out’ and nobody could see to continue the celebration. Fortunately, Feed the Hungry was able to provide Nokero solar lights and the villagers were ecstatic that they could continue their celebration due to the new light.
- iMKIRAN is a social media and photography platform that uses media to build awareness around current events and help NGOs increase advocacy. Kiran Singh, Founder of iMKIRAN, visits the Philippines every few months to distribute cases of lights to remote islands that cannot access mainland resources.
- During Kiran’s last trip, Panay Island experienced a small typhoon and he was forced to spend the night with the islanders. The rough waves made it unable to boat back to the mainland, and demonstrated how difficult it is for these islanders to access their mainland on a regular basis for resources. Kiran said he witnessed firsthand how powerful the solar light bulbs were, as the island was pitch black until he turned on all of the lights. They allowed the villagers to spend time together into the night despite the darkness imposed by the island’s thick jungle. Kiran was known as “Mr. Light Man” for finally bringing them light.
- One Heart for Hope’s Project Coordinator, Noel Galang, has spend months coordinating volunteer projects within his homeland after Typhoon Haiyan. He makes sure to properly meet each person who receives a solar light from Nokero, a pair of flip-flops from Haviainas, a fishing boat, a hygiene kit, food and sweets, or a plastic toy for the children.
- On Gibitngil Island, Noel met an elderly lady who lives with her grandson and works to make ends meet through selling home-sewn clothes and home-grown peanuts. She was concerned that she could never quite make enough money, but now her solar light lets her continue to sew even after the sun goes down so that she can expand her business and support her grandson.
- ‘Bags of Hope’ was an initiative started by a Filipina girl living in Malaysia, to distribute hygiene products, clothing, small towels, lighting solutions, and basic medicine to families in the Visayas and Leyte regions of the Philippines during Christmastime.
- Leklek Villanueva created the ‘Bags of Hope’ project to help her countrymen get back on their feet and maintain hope around the holidays. 100 bags included N180 solar light bulbs to bring comfort to the recipients’ homes. For Christmas in 2013, instead of giving friends and family presents, Leklek gave Bags of Hope in their name to families in the Philippines who needed some extra hope in their lives. She even included handwritten notes from friends in Malaysia to show her Filipino friends that they have support from around the world.
Further Reading & Media Provided by Our Volunteers
Click here to read Habitat for Humanity Philippines’ final report on the impact made by Nokero lights after Typhoon Haiyan: Habitat for Humanity Report: Distribution of Solar Lights
Click here to view a video provided by iMKIRAN of the lights being distributed throughout both the daytime and nighttime on Panay Island: “This is How We Did It: Batch 1″
To continue to help, visit iMKIRAN’s website to donate individual light bulbs that will be distributed throughout the next few months, or One Heart for Hope is accepting donations that will go toward disaster relief efforts that include solar products.
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