First Gen CorporationEmployee Power, First Gen Corporation’s employee volunteerism program, launched the Light It Forward challenge in March 2021.
The campaign was well received by employees of First Philippine Holdings Corporation (FPH) and First Gen as they dared one another to take on the challenge of building their own solar lamps. There were 112 employees who put solar lamps together and raised a total of P84,001 for the campaign.
The Light It Forward challenge was a fun opportunity for everyone across the group to come together as one and participate in an employee volunteering effort. It brought out the tinkering side of the whole FPH community; more so, it became a form of family bonding for some or a brushup of their intro course on engineering or technology and home economics. Ultimately, the initiative harnessed personal involvement in the advocacy of bringing sustainable and equitable lighting to communities similar to what First Gen and Energy Development Corporation are doing—through solar lamps assembled with the employees’ own hands.
After the journey of these solar lamps from the Liter of Light headquarters to the individual houses of employees for assembly, around 100 solar lamps have reached and brought light to partner communities in Agusan del Norte, Nueva Ecija and Bukidnon.
The light did not just come in handy during power shortages; it created a sense of security for the indigenous peoples (IP) of Jabonga, Agusan del Norte when they had to go to the mountains, tend to their farms and earn a living. These were all common testimonials of IP leaders in barangays Bangonay and Maraiging, stakeholders of First Gen’s Puyo hydro development project.
According to a farmers’ association in Pantabangan, Nueva Ecija, the members would eat in the dark and make do with oil lamps or flashlights in the past. But because of the employees’ help to bring light to these communities, the solar lamps can now help their children work on their studies at night and spark hope for their community and their lives. (Story/Photos by: Dianne Datu)