Program launches FY2017 solar lantern donations in Bangladesh
The Volunteer Employee Reporter program is set to begin. Panasonic employees travel to areas without electricity to report on how solar lanterns donated through the employee donation program are being used. Two employee reporters selected through a screening process will be traveling to Indonesia's East Nusa Tenggara Province for five days, from January 3 to 7, 2017.
March 2016 marked the first solar lantern donations by employees. Five hundred solar lanterns were donated through Kopernik, a non-profit organization that acts under the motto, "Delivering innovative technology."
Panasonic recruited employee reporters from among the employees that took part in the donation. The correspondents' role is to visit the clinics and schools in off-grid areas where the solar lanterns were distributed and report on how they are being used. Two reporters were chosen from the large pool of applicants and we spoke with them prior to their departure.
Despite my desire to take part in social action programs, I was not sure how I could take action besides through my work. Upon seeing the recent call for applications, I thought to myself, "I could do this" and decided to take the leap. I also want my kids to see their mom taking on new challenges.
Since I am so accustomed to life in Japan where we have access to clean water at the turn of a faucet and light at night at the flick of a switch, it is hard to imagine what life is like in areas without electricity. I'd like to get an up-close look at how solar lanterns are being used, while interacting with the local children and seeing many smiles.
I've always been interested in resolving social issues in developing countries, and have participated in workshops by the CSR & Citizenship Department.
The employee donation program is an excellent program that gives individuals the opportunity to do their part in supporting, through donations, Panasonic's actions to improve the lives of people living in areas without electricity.
I hope to see the solar lanterns in use, to speak with many, and give an unfiltered account of all the people's voices and emotions that could only be encountered through an actual visit.
The reports will be introduced around mid-January. Meanwhile, please watch for updates to be posted on our Facebook page.