When war fell on Marawi, the city was not the only thing left ravaged. Close to 400,000 Filipinos were displaced from their homes by the five-month siege that lasted from May to October 2017. Fleeing to safety, they abandoned their property, their sources of livelihood.
Marawi suffered more than P17 billion in damaged infrastructure, private properties and economic activities during the course of the war. Many were on the brink of hopelessness, not knowing how to rebuild from the ashes. Evacuees struggled in temporary shelters and refugee sites with no electricity.
The darkness around the city did not just make the situation difficult and unsafe, but also gave perpetuated fear among evacuees who were unsure of what the next days would bring.
In September 2017, PepsiCo and Pepsi-Cola Products Philippines Inc. in partnership with MyShelter Foundation’s Liter of Light went to work to provide the community with sustainable sources of light.
To get more hands into the project, the team also engaged their brand ambassadors Daniel Padilla, Jasmine Curtis-Smith, National University volleyball player Jaja Santiago, and Magic 89.9 radio jocks Tin Gamboa (DJ Suzy), Anthony James Bueno (Tony Toni), and Eric Virata (Slick Rick) to help build Solar gasera lights in October 2017 for delivery to Marawi. Each “gasera” light is made of LED bulbs wired to miniature solar panels using a copper board. It houses rechargeable batteries similar to those found in computers.
To date, the team with the help of Marawi community leaders have distributed 1,000 solar gasera lamps and installed 200 street lights in the city and the temporary shelters. (PS)