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[March Free Report] Sustainability and Empowerment

by Alex Kim | 31-03-2023 23:44 recommendations 0

Sustainability has often been seen as a key facet towards supporting our Earth's environment for future generations to come. However, seldom do we ever see sustainability as an initiator for life-changing empowerment. This report aims to discuss two projects that I have personally been involved with, One Million Lights and Rightfully Recycled, and how they contribute to human welfare in tandem with their missions to build a more sustainable future. 

One Million Lights Philippines is a Non-Governmental Organization dedicated to improving the quality of life of Filipinos through solar lighting. One Million Lights started with a mission to combat energy scarcity in the Philippines. The solution they came up with was solar lighting. Solar lighting serves as a sustainable alternative to the kerosene lamps that marginalized communities often rely on. Solar lamps take a step beyond just being a sustainable alternative, however. The solar lamps are also cheaper, alleviating the financial strain of a constant expense to replenish fuel for traditional kerosene lamps. Furthermore, without relying on combustion to light up, solar lamps are also significantly safer than kerosene lamps which have the risk of burning down the flammable homes of those in off-grid communities. Our school's One Million Lights Youth Chapter was set up around 5 years ago by students seeking to make a difference in their community. One Million Lights is the perfect example of how social humanitarian issues can be tackled using sustainable solutions. 

Through my experience working with One Million Lights, I learned that developing nuanced, multifaceted solutions creates meaningful change. Observing how plastic and trash were stacked up around homes, as government waste-management services neglected these areas, I founded Rightfully Recycled, an initiative that seeks to both empower residents while also helping them. On our end, we fundraise for essential items, such as organic soap, fresh produce, and school supplies. We then exchange these items with recyclables collected by residents. Lastly, we upcycle the ‘waste’ and sell them for fundraising, completing our circular sustainability efforts. 

Both One Million Lights and Rightfully Recycled have taught me to think of multi-layered solutions to generate widespread impact in a thoughtful manner. Hopefully this report inspires others to explore ways of using their passion to ignite change on systemic problems!

One Million Lights. Rightfully Recycled Logo.


  • Philippines Former E-gen Ambassador Alex Kim
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James Mentor

  • James Mentor says :
    Hello again Alex! This is your mentor James!
    Again, my apologies for the late comment!

    I see you have elaborated on a very meaningful NGO in the Philippines! People living in rural areas mostly rely on kerosene lamps or even candles, thus replacing them with sustainable solar power lamps would be an awesome job. Plus, I didn't know solar lamps are cheaper than kerosene lamps!! With higher safety, sustainability, and accessibility, I think One Million Lights have come up with an ideal solution, and it is great to hear that you had the chance to cooperate with them!!

    Thanks for the meaningful report! Looking forward to reading your next one!
    Posted 05-05-2023 15:08

Sanuli Weihena Gamage

Yewon Mentor

  • Yewon Mentor says :
    Hello Alex! This is your mentor Yewon.

    Thank you for sharing your wonderful projects! It is cool to participate in the project in person to solve environmental problems!!

    Your two projects, One Million Lights and Rightfully Recycled, are not only protecting the environment but also improving the quality of life of Filipinos!! I think we all should learn from you!!

    Thank you for your hard work and outstanding report!
    Posted 01-04-2023 00:57

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