In 2016, GLOW donated $10,000 (two rounds of $5,000) to the social enterprise Hybrid Social Solutions Inc (HSSI) to implement first solar projects in Asia.
These donations were able to purchase $10,000 worth of solar lights (about 200 units total) from HSSI, the award winning social enterprise that is part of the Stiftung Solarenergie International Network for Rural Development.
These solar lights were consigned to a People’s Organization (probably a fisherman or farmer association) in Northern Samar- a poverty stricken area that was hit hard by Typhoon Haiyan and Typhoon Glenda a year later.
The P.O. implemented a Solar Program for its members. It is supported and trained by Hybrid Social Solutions, which has developed a solar program called ACCESS (Advancing Citizen and Community Empowerment through Sustainable Solutions).
The first 100 units were made available to the members who were able to ensure their weekly payments through an initial deposit.The understanding was that as they pay back, the money will be used to purchase more lights that other members of the P.O. can then benefit from.
Plus, the interest charged does not go back into the pocket of the solar company, or GLOW- but rather directly into the communal savings account of each P.O., instead. This means that by paying back the cost of the light in full also creates an additional income for the group’s communal needs.
The Pay-it-Forward proved to be is a very strong motivator to ensure that payments are made. Collections were conducted by the P.O., which already has micro-financing activities. As funds are accrued, additional lights are purchased. Once all the members have lights, the funds can then be transferred to another P.O.
There are dozens of P.O.s that we worked with in North Catarman. Many of them are members of a federation called the Nortehanon Access Center, which is a longstanding partner of Sun Transfer. Sun Transfer had not yet been able to access the P.O.s since they have not had the funds to purchase lights from Hybrid. Until now.
When GLOW stepped in with the initial $5,000, the generosity of this donation was multiplied many times over so that hundreds will be able to avail of the lights.
Due to the success of the first Pay-It-Forward solar light project, GLOW invested an additional $5,000 in the second half of the year, as well. The donation was used for the same project model, however- it was used in new areas to expand the overall reach.