In July 2013, Philips Lighting employees in 17 geographies were invited to nominate worthy causes or projects that could benefit from a gift of Philips lighting innovations and services. We received more than 200 project nominations from employees around the world. Up to five shortlisted projects per geography were then voted upon by employees in their geography, resulting in 18 winners (there was a tie in Japan – they had two winning projects), which today are in various stages of implementation. The Philips Lighting Management Team then reviewed all the winning projects and chose an overall winner – Thanh Son Village.
The winning project – nominated by Le Viet Hung, Marketing Manager, Philips Lighting Vietnam – received a further round of funding to provide solar-powered LED lighting and emergency lighting for 288 households and a play area at the community center in the off-grid village.
It’s a sobering thought that close to 150 million people in the ASEAN region still live without access to electricity. Vietnam has worked hard on developing its national grid, yet today an estimated 4 per cent of all Vietnamese households are still without electricity. The village of Thanh Son is located in a remote rural area, about 70km (a two hour drive) from Hanoi. The villagers mainly earn a living by farming and growing cassava. For 30 years, village life in this largely off-grid community ended when the sun went down. But not anymore.