Signify and BRAC Help Make Refugee Camps Safer with Donated Solar-Powered Lights

Signify (formerly Philips Lighting), and BRAC, a leading non-governmental organization, are distributing Philips LifeLight solar lanterns to more than 46,000 Rohingya families in Bangladesh. BRAC operates as an international non-goverment organization (NGO) that strives to end poverty and improve he lives of the impoverished around the world.

BRAC Helping in Rohingya Crisis

Since August 2017, 680,000 forcibly-displaced Signify (formerly Philips Lighting), and BRAC, a leading non-governmental organization, are distributing Philips LifeLight solar lanterns to more than 46,000 Rohingya families in Bangladesh.

According to BRAC, the new arrivals are vulnerable and include pregnant and nursing mothers, as well as children separated from their families. BRAC, one of the earliest responders on the ground, says that the sudden and massive increase in population has overwhelmed existing basic services for refugees and host communities. BRAC has been working together with the Government of Bangladesh, the International Organization for Migration (IOM), UNHCR and other stakeholders.

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Light to Boost Safety

Signify says that the solar lanterns will greatly improve the living conditions in the refugees’ makeshift shelters and especially enhance nighttime safety and security of women and children. So far, the BRAC has distributed the Philips brand LifeLight solar lanterns to 22,495 Rohingya families, reaching 132,720 individuals, of which 66,360 are children.

The NGO says it will give away the solar lamps through its network of offices, seed and agricultural staff and community health workers. The organization says it will also offer detailed training about care and maintenance of the lamps and how to get replacements under warranty. an An instruction and information sheet in the Rakhine language and script will accompany each lamp. BRAC also plans to collaborate with local companies including local solar companies to install and maintain the LifeLight Home systems. Signify says it intends to train the people of these companies that are in charge of installing and maintaining and providing technical support for the specific Philips-branded products.

Previously Camps Pitch Black at Night

Previously the camps were pitch black at night, making basic activities virtually impossible. In addition, BRAC had immediate concerns about the safety and security of women and children at night in their shelters, moving around the camps, and going to the toilet. To boost security and meet the residents’ basic needs the shelters urgently needed lighting.

“Lighting is a key enabler to create safer spaces. Especially in refugee camps where women and children are vulnerable to exploitation and abuse, lighting can make a real difference. Our continued collaboration with BRAC leverages the strengths and resources of both organizations to deliver interventions like these,” said Prajna Khanna, Director of the Signify Foundation.

BRAC Expects Solar-Powered Lamps Expected to Make Camps Much Safer at Night

“These clean solar-powered lights will make the camps a much safer place at night, and are, therefore, making a much-needed contribution to the lives of people who are spending days in unimaginable difficulties. We hope this partnership with an organization like Signify will be another step towards making lasting impact,” said Asif Saleh, Senior Director, Strategy, Communication and Empowerment at BRAC and BRAC International.

“We are honored that we’re able to support this noble cause by donating our solar-powered LifeLight Lanterns to Rohingya families living in Cox’s Bazar,” said Padmanava Gupta, managing director at Signify’s operations in Bangladesh.

Signify changed its name from Philips Lighting as of May 16, 2018. The legal name of Signify will officially be adapted in Bangladesh in the beginning of 2019.