Field Efforts Distributing Solar Powered Lanterns

By Ralph Chesley
February 21, 2014.
In the third week of a six-week effort to distribute solar lanterns, I’m stricken with a
cough of sufficient force to delay our work, and contracted red eye infection as well.
Going to visit the local hospital tomorrow.

This time of year every town in the Philippines celebrate their patron saint for
weeks until the end of Easter Week with parades, social and sporting events.
Unfortunately our family’s ancestral home is now in the middle of the plaza.
Translated, these events last well into the early mornings, 2 am. Impossible to get
rest, thus my sorry predicament of having to check into a hotel where I can get a
good night’s rest with hopes of recovering. But we move on.

Met up with volunteers last Friday from Manila, former employees of Sun Power, we
caravanned north for five hours to our town, Candelaria. Straight to the school site,
our team assessed the property site; with information needed we began to calculate
a solar PV system for the school. The general plan is equipped the school
sufficiently with solar PV system where it can avoid most electrical costs. Included
in the plan is a proposal to allow the principal and teacher to manage the savings
from deferred electrical costs. An investment suitor is interested in our project,
should discussions lead to their support our project has a good chance of being
completed by 2015.

San Roque PV project


Last February 2013, REEF distributed solar lanterns to families living without electricity to the same school, San Roque Elementary School Annex in Candelaria, Zambales. This revisit surprised us as the children prepared Thank You card for the lanterns.IMG_3176 IMG_3169


We sure had quite a year

A poor ChristmasOh, jingle bells, jingle bells/Jingle all the way! It’s time of the year again when streets are illuminated, houses are decorated, shoppers are treated, kids are awaiting for Santa to receive gifts. No civic citizen can ignore the other side of the story. There are mothers who lack means to cook a meal on Christmas Eve, fathers who struggle for livelihood on New Year’s Day and kids who never receive a holiday gift.

REEF hopes to assist the needy people year around, empower poor women and children and end generational poverty by employing clean technology. Another week to go before 2013 becomes past and REEF, a nonprofit start-up, can call it quite a year.

REEF was on the wheel on road and water. REEF became outreach partner in Philippine inter-island sailing regatta. 200 solar lanterns were distributed to children of Kanwan Elementary school. Volunteer visited the Filipino families who were either pre-qualified or newly vetted for Family First Program. More than 30 families continue to receive Family First program benefits as well as training and maintenance service on environment friendly cook stove and solar lantern. Typhoon Haiyan hit central Philippines islands. Along with numerous devastating effects the storm Yolanda plunged the islands grid into darkness. Some of the islands were always off the grid and overlooked by government. REEF will distribute solar lanterns directly avoiding relief agencies to be assured that the lanterns will reach intended people. 

Indubitably, REEF’s donors, volunteers and supporters have earned sincere thanks for making enlightenment a reality. You deserve the right to know what REEF, together with you could accomplish. I will come back to my readers in next month with a planned dream of 2014.

Wish everyone a Merry Christmas!

By Manimala Kumar

We have a new year dream

Happy New Year 2013 REEF bade goodbye to 2012. We secured the fund, suppliers, and stakeholders and started the field installation of solar panels to poor households as part of Family first Program in last year. We look forward to see the first family first installation go-live in this year, to get engineering in action to alleviate poverty.

REEF has a dream for 2013. In order to support the Family First, Green Hospital & LEADS (education) program, we need a steady business model beyond reliance on Government and international policy. REEF will distribute solar lantern and environment friendly cooking stove to partners. The profit earned from distributorship will feed into our main cause.

We already have set our feet to the business plan. Y2013 will be the year of implementation, a year for new alliance, a tale of success stories of new endeavors.

Welcome 2013!

BY Manimala Kumar

The remote, the rural & the Family First Program

Supply & infrastructure of electricity vary significantly in developed versus developing country.  In western world it’s not uncommon to find out a fully electrified nation serviced through smart grid electricity.

Conversely in developing countries even in metros and sub-urban prolonged load shedding is a cliche in daily life. It remains a dream to connect remote & rural areas to conventional electric power supply. An example is Zambales province in Philippines, just within 100 miles of Manila, contains houses outside the reach of grid electricity. Tropical storm, typhoon and flood put power supply in jeopardy. The vast terrains of mountains & ragged coastal lines bring additional accessibility problems.

REEF tries to find out cost effective and sustainable ways relying on alternative energy source to address the challenge.  The Family First Program is the first step to install photo-voltaic solar panel to meet the energy need of the rural households.

By Manimala Kumar

The Green Hospital

The Green HospitalRenewable energy’s contribution to the environment is profound. THE GREEN Hospital Program has the potential to offset coal produced electricity, AND reduce green house gases created by power plants. Gases like sulfuric nitrous acid, when combined with water, produce acid rain, and can seriously hinder rice and other crop production as well as defoliate rain forest cover. Frequently when RE projects are up for consideration another barometer considered is an equivalent of acres of trees planted. The acreage of trees planted is based on the size of the solar PV system. These are GREEN hospital project environmental benefits.See us on

By Patrick Kagema  – Courtesy REEF Website