Tondo NGO cited for sun-powered e-learning center

/ 04:01 AM March 08, 2015

Smart Communications Inc. recently gave recognition to a group of young volunteers from Tondo, Manila, for their project that facilitates learning in remote communities through the use of modern devices running on solar energy.

Kanlungan Pilipinas Movement Inc., one of the 10 winners of the 10th Ten Accomplished Youth Organizations (Tayo) Awards, was presented with the Smart Innovation Award in ceremonies held in Malacañang.


Kanlungan is a nongovernment organization that champions environment protection, education promotion, youth development and culture and heritage sustainability. Its programs are run by youth volunteers from various chapters all over the country.

The group was cited for its Balay Kanlungan ng Karunungan, a nipa hut that houses an Android-based mini personal computer preinstalled with e-books, educational games and videos, and a 16-inch LED (light-emitting diode) television-all run by a solar power system. The project is considered a first in the country.


The group has set up a Balay Kanlungan learning center in Barangay Naparaan in Salcedo, Eastern Samar province, one of the areas devastated by Supertyphoon “Yolanda” in November 2013.

Another Balay Kanlungan will soon be launched in Barangay Matamsi, Rosario, Batangas province.

In setting up the e-learning centers, the group aimed to provide free, accessible information and learning to remote communities. The centers make use of solar power so as not to put financial strain on the community in terms of electricity costs, said Kanlungan founder and chair Herald Villarca.

Kanlungan received P20,000 in cash from Smart, which has been supporting the Tayo Awards since 2013.

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TAGS: Balay Kanlungan ng Karunungan, e-learning center, Kanlungan Pilipinas movement, Smart, Smart communications, Volunteerism, young volunteers
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