Light the Way: Hope OUtside of the Classroom

Written by: Inez

Edited by: Chris

Visual by: Tatiana

With the commencement of the hybrid school schedule, national lows in COVID case counts, and the highly anticipated approach of the holiday season, November is looking like a month filled with hope. As  2021 comes to an end, it should be known that our hopes can be fulfilled on all scales, whether that be hoping to make virtual IASAS events, or hoping to create a sustainable future for impoverished Filipino communities. Juniors Sid and Jagat aim to do the latter, having founded Light The Way, a non-profit organization looking to “promote sustainable energy alternatives through service and awareness.” 

The NGO, founded in 2018, has continued to operate despite the restraints of the pandemic. Unlike most other service organizations who have been limited to online activism as a safer alternative for service work, Light the Way passionately advocates for its cause of sustainability through continuing community Outreach work. Beyond their high performing instagram posts, the organization has been, as co-founder Jagat comments, “raising funds for the procurement and installation of solar powered water pumps for the Lakas Aeta community in Botolan, Zambales.”  The indigenous community in the Zambales region lacks efficient technology for safe and sustainable energy and water resources. Thus, Light the Way’s funds aim to eliminate their unsafe technological practices (eg. kerosene lamps, unclean water from natural bodies of liquid). Through this fundraiser, Sid claims that “this project aims to support their water needs while at the same time eliminating the need for strenuous manual labor.” In a time when so many service groups were forced to temporarily pause their philanthropic work, Light the Way’s initiative to continue service, truly serves as a lodestar of hope for the resumption of pre-pandemic charity work.

Sophomore Apoorv, the head of Video Journalism for Light the Way, says “We have established a 10 part podcast series to broaden awareness on renewable energy importance.” The organization’s podcast, Tenergy, covers all aspects of renewable energy, from energy gatekeeping, to the impacts of climate change on the renewable power industry. The ranging steps of action taken by Light the Way, prove the organization’s initiative in both awareness and service.
It is uplifting to see LIght the Way’s inspiring endeavors, truly showcasing the great strides for improvement being made inside and outside the ISM community. Sid and Jagat look forward to meeting with the Light the Way team, and starting formal service trips in person, as face to face learning unravels. Sid comments on in person meetings, as they “help us better understand the needs and hardships that the community is facing.”.  With the pandemic situation lightening up as the year comes to a close, Bearcats can only hope for what greatness the future has in store.