As the corporate social responsibility arm of an energy company, Vivant Foundation Inc. (VFI), aims to empower young Filipinos to seize opportunities in an ever-changing industry landscape. We studied how we can achieve this goal, make the biggest impact and, at the same time, ensure the sustainability of our projects in the community.
We developed Project Liadlaw, named after a Visayan pre-Christian deity of the sun, to help the Department of Education (DepEd) energize off-grid public schools through solar, thereby improving learning and learning conditions for the school children while promoting renewable energy.
To ensure the project’s sustainability, we provide the local community the technical skills to maintain and repair the donated solar equipment. This component of Project Liadlaw involves updating the electrical installation and maintenance (EIM) tech-voc track offering of a nearby senior high school by including solar technology in the curriculum. By doing so, we are able to educate electricians not only on today’s needs, but also on tomorrow’s opportunities while using the public school system to enable beneficiary communities to sustain the equipment that had been donated to them.
Our pilot for the energization component of Project Liadlaw is the Hilotongan Integrated School in an island barangay off Bantayan, Cebu. The beneficiary of the EIM-Solar track offering and partner senior high school is the Bantayan Senior High School. VFI later added the Mandaue Comprehensive National High School (MCNHS) in Mandaue City as a recipient of the EIM-Solar grant to address the need for more PV installers amid a growing demand for rooftop solar.
Under Project Liadlaw, the EIM-Solar students of partner senior high schools will be the ones providing maintenance and repair services to the energized off-grid school as part of their hands-on training, an opportunity that gives them the relevant and future-facing work experience.
The initial success of Project Liadlaw led to an even grander partnership. With financial support from the European Union (EU), VFI and its partners – international development organization sequa gGmbH and PROCESS-Bohol, a social development NGO – have been granted an opportunity to expand Liadlaw through Project Renewable Energy for Livelihood and Youth (RELY), which is being implemented in 16 off-grid schools and five senior high schools in Cebu, Bohol and Palawan.
Apart from Project Liadlaw and Project RELY, we continue to give back to the communities where we work by improving STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) and technical-vocational education in selected public schools. We build laboratories, donate equipment and tools, and organize training for teachers.