Miyerkules, Agosto 24, 2011

Harish Hande: 2011 Ramon Magsaysay Awardee for harnessing green energy for the poor

India is on the rise, there's no doubt about that. Their ever increasing middle-class group empowers their economy like never before. Do you know that India now has its own F1 team? They own former US car brands like General Motors and Jaguar.

However, a lot of the country remains poor.

Better use of education
A graduate of Engineering from the University of Massachusetts, Indian national Harish Hande's eyes were opened that using small scale, stand-alone installations instead of large centralized thermal stations – was more effective in reaching poor, remote villages where life is backward and technology is most needed.

He thought that this may benefit his countrymen a lot. So he want back home after studying and formed Solar Electric Light Company (SELCO) India in Bangalore. The road to providing heating, light and energy to his fellow Indians was not easy. He had to deal with financing, rolling out the technology and business partners. Yet six years after establishing the business, SELCO has SELCO has reached more than half a million people by installing solar lights in 120,000 households, micro-enterprises and community facilities.

His compassion for the poor and desire to empower them and be better members of the society has made him use his education not merely for profit. His Ramon Magsaysay award is indeed deserving.


Credits: PhilStar

Martes, Agosto 23, 2011

Young Physics Teacher at Pampanga National High School (PNHS) overcame poverty through the help of scholarship

Hearing stories of overcoming obstacles - especially poverty, in a third world country like the Philippines is always good news. Many Filipinos still believe in the quick-rich schemes, when hard work and determination are proven formula for success.

Let's be inspired with this story of how education, granted through a scholarship from another overcomer, changed the life story of a family in Pampanga - as published in Global Nation of Philippine Daily Inquirer.
CITY OF SAN FERNANDO, Philippines—For a young Physics teacher at Pampanga National High School (PNHS), some basic things in a student’s life could stand in the way of success – things like transportation money or food for lunch. 
“There were days when I can’t go to school because I didn’t have money for jeepney fare,” recounts 23-year-old Rodel Verzosa to FilAm Star in Tagalog. “And if I did, that’s all I had. So during lunchtime, I just stayed in the library because I had nothing to eat.” 
But Rodel was an intelligent student, and determined to overcome obstacles that would keep him home and away from school – a characteristic that did not escape the attention of Imelda Macaspac, Ph.D., PNHS principal. At the time, San Francisco (Calif.)-based philanthropist Rene Medina, a PNHS alumnus, had just established a scholarship and feeding program, under the Rene and Mila Medina Foundation, for his alma mater’s underprivileged and deserving students and alumni. The support program was launched just as the foundation was at the completion phase of the multi-million-peso school infrastructure-rebuilding project that Rene had started in 2003.
Rodel was already in his senior year at PNHS when he was enrolled in the scholarship and feeding program. Graduating at the top of his class as valedictorian, he was chosen as one of the foundation’s college scholars. He went to the Philippine Normal University (PNU), where he graduated cum laude with a degree in Education.
Just as quickly as his eyes welled, his face lighted up. “And now, I’m so happy that I am able to help the family with financial needs as a teacher here at PNHS. Before, I had nothing. Today, I have something to share, ” he added. 
Education is a key 
Finishing school and becoming a professional is an equalizer. Poor and rich people alike may accomplish such tasks, though it is sweeter for the underprivileged ones for their battle is tougher, and therefore worth more in the end.