HO CHI MINH, Viet Nam — Signify, formerly Philips Lighting, collaborates with UNESCO – the mandated United Nations agency for education – and Departments of Education and Training of the three provinces of Ha Giang, Ninh Thuan, and Soc Trang in Viet Nam to provide access to education to ethnic minorities through the “Lighting up the Future of Ethnic Minority Communities in Viet Nam” project with the goal to reduce school drop-out rates.
The Project aims to equip more than 5,000 ethnic minority students of 16 lower secondary schools in remote, mountainous and disadvantaged areas in Ha Giang, Ninh Thuan, and Soc Trang with innovative lighting systems, including 1,900 Philips LifeLight portable solar lanterns, 7 Philips SunStay streetlights for school-yard lighting, together with other Philips LED lamps of different kinds.
Installation at the 16 schools has now been completed. On June 17, 2020, Minh Tan secondary semi-boarding school for ethnic minority students at Vi Xuyen District, Ha Giang Province, on behalf of the eight lower secondary boarding schools for ethnic minority students in the province, held a ceremony to celebrate receiving the solar lighting equipment. At Minh Tan school, in addition to lighting equipment, Signify also donated a book library of 500 books to support the students’ daily learning activities.
In many remote and mountainous areas of Vietnam where there is a high concentration of ethnic minority communities, people are still facing many difficulties and challenges in their daily lives, especially poor conditions of traffic infrastructure and electricity grids. In these areas, limited access to electricity has not only affected the performance of farming activities and economic development among the communities, but also challenged all aspects of people’s livings, movement and exchanging activities at night. In particular, limited access to electrical lighting systems has significantly prevented local students from accessing education, resulting in a higher rate of school drop-outs in general.
The “Lighting up the Future of Ethnic Minority Communities in Viet Nam” project is a reflection of Signify’s strong commitment to the sustainable growth of local communities, especially those who are vulnerable, through providing innovative and practical products and solutions through its Signify Foundation (formerly Philips Foundation). Also, it reflects the commitment of UNESCO to support the Government of Viet Nam to build an inclusive, equitable and quality education system.
“The education sector of Ha Giang or any provinces with ethnic minorities in Viet Nam is always facing challenges: apart from ensuring education and training quality, we have to take care of the students’ lives, especially the ones from semi-boarding schools. We have to advocate with parents to send their children to schools and motivate the students not to drop out. Such assistance to the education sector by UNESCO and Signify not only encourages our passion to strengthen the education and training, but also enables students with difficulties to better access to educational opportunities, to enjoy and stay longer at school.” — Nguyen The Binh, Director of Education and Training Department of Ha Giang Province
“This Project falls within our wider effort to enhance the quality of education for ethnic minority students”, said Michael Croft, UNESCO Representative to Viet Nam. “And because we share with Signify a common concern for sustainability and leaving no one behind, we join hands in this way. It is so easy for many of us to take for granted, but having more light translates to more opportunities in the future for these deserving youth.”
“With experiences in many successful CSR projects all over the world, Signify understands the challenges daily faced by ethnic minorities in remote and mountainous areas. With these advanced solar lighting solutions and technologies, students will have better facilities for their daily activities and learning, therefore, will learn better and be more motivated to go to schools to build up their knowledge and nurture their dreams for a brighter future. This is exactly our approach to unlock the extraordinary potential of light for brighter lives and a better world”, said Phung Hoai Duong, General Director of Signify Viet Nam.Tagged with Signify, UNESCO