As part of its efforts of the "100 Thousand Solar Lanterns Project" in 2014, Panasonic has donated over 6,000 solar lanterns (BG-BL03) to Cambodia and Myanmar.
The 100 Thousand Solar Lanterns Project was launched as part of Panasonic's corporate citizenship activities (social contribution activities) to utilize its technologies and products to help resolve various social challenges faced in emerging and developing countries that have poor electrical power conditions. The goal is to donate 100,000 solar lanterns to NPOs/ NGOs, humanitarian organizations, and international organizations by the year 2018, the year of Panasonic's 100th anniversary.
In mid-November, more than 2,500 solar lanterns were donated to a total of 16 NPOs/NGOs and humanitarian organizations in Cambodia. Prior to this, in July of 2014, 1,500 solar lanterns had been donated to the UNESCO Phnom Penh office based on Panasonic's framework agreement with United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and on its strategic partnership agreement with the UNESCO World Heritage Centre. Thus a grand total of over 4,000 lanterns were donated to Cambodia in the year 2014.
In Myanmar, the Panasonic Solutions Expo 2014 (website) was held at the Sule Shangri-La, Yangon Hotel on November 18, 2014, where over 2,000 solar lanterns were donated as part of the event's donation ceremony.
2014 marked the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Myanmar and Japan, and Panasonic's donation of solar lanterns to Myanmar was officially endorsed as a commemorative project by the Embassy of Japan in Myanmar. The donated solar lanterns are expected to serve as a way to improve the quality of life in Myanmar and to promote friendly cooperative relations between Japan and Myanmar.
In recent years, Cambodia and Myanmar have experienced steady economic growth in the urban areas, but many social challenges related to poverty issues still exist in rural areas, with many people not having any access to electricity in their everyday lives. The solar lanterns that were donated to the various organizations are expected to help resolve these types of social challenges in areas with poor electrical power conditions.
Panasonic previously donated 2,000 solar lanterns to 15 organizations in Cambodia in March 2012, and a total of 2,500 solar lanterns to nine organizations including UNESCO, in December 2013. In addition to the more than 4,000 solar lanterns donated this time, the grand total of solar lanterns donated to Cambodia has exceeded 8,500.
In Myanmar, 3,000 compact solar lights were donated to four organizations in February 2013, and 2,060 solar lanterns were donated to five organizations between November and December 2013. In addition to the more than 2,000 solar lanterns donated this time, the grand total of solar light devices donated to Myanmar has exceeded 7,060.
By monitoring their usage in both countries after the donations were made, Panasonic has been able to confirm that the solar light devices have been effectively utilized in a variety of areas, including healthcare, education, and income generation.
In addition to these two countries, Panasonic will continue donating solar lanterns to other Asian and African countries throughout 2014.
As part of its efforts to pursue "A Better Life, A Better World," Panasonic will continue the "100 Thousand Solar Lanterns Project" to contribute to sustainable development and to the achievement of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
The 17 Organizations including UNESCO which Received Solar Lanterns in Cambodia (in alphabetical order)
- Asia School Attendance Partnership (Nonprofit Organization)
- Association of School Aid in Cambodia (Nonprofit Organization)
- Cambodia Learning Aid for Children
- Caring For Young Refugees (Nonprofit Organization)
- Education Support Center "Kizuna"
- Ieng Foundation
- International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies
- Joint Support Team for Angkor Preservation and Community Development
- Kamonohashi Project (Nonprofit Organization)
- Cambodia Education Assistance Fund
- Life With Dignity
- My Happy Village Cambodia
- Services for the Health in Asian and African Regions (Nonprofit Organization)
- Shanti Volunteer Association (Public Interest Incorporated Association)
- United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Phnom Penh Office
- World Assistance for Cambodia/Japan Relief for Cambodia
- World Vision (Cambodia Office)
The Eight Organizations that Received Solar Lanterns in Myanmar (in alphabetical order)
- Association for Rengein Tanjoji International Cooperation (Nonprofit Organization)
- Birumero no Kai (Nonprofit Organization)
- Greater Mekong Initiative (Nonprofit Organization)
- Japan Heart (Nonprofit Organization)
- Myanmar Red Cross Society
- Peace Winds Japan (Nonprofit Organization)
- Save the Children Japan (Public Interest Incorporated Association