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Bringing Solar Panel Lights to a Remote Village in Malaysia #ExperianStories

Soo Wai LaiIn Malaysia, nearly 280,000 people live without electricity. By volunteering with the Liter of Light program, we’re bringing solar panel lights to remote villages, transforming the quality of life and brightening the darker hours for families.

In Malaysia, more than 1 percent of the population lives without electricity – one of life’s basic necessities – which equates to nearly 280,000 people living in darkness after the sun goes down. Some people have never had electricity in their life, making simple tasks like cooking or reading nearly impossible after dark. I wanted to change that.

My day job is to support and enable individuals within Experian to pursue various career opportunities, but what I’m most passionate about is the way Experian helps me invest in my local community through the Heart of Experian Corporate Social Responsibility program.

This year, my team and I had the chance to collaborate with Liter of Light (LOL) – a global, grassroots movement committed to providing affordable, sustainable solar light to people with limited or no access to electricity. In February, we joined one of their projects to install 60 solar street lights in the village of Orang Asli, an indigenous community in the Cameron Highlands.  

Over the span of two days in February, a group of 30 Experian volunteers built and installed the solar panel lights. On the first day, the LOL team taught us how to build the panels, teaching us the skills needed to cut wire, assemble PVC pipes and drill holes.

The second day, we rode in Jeeps through muddy roads and a three-foot deep river to reach the village. We spent hours unloading the lights and assembling the panel boxes, plotting the village maps and identifying the right spots to install the solar panel lights.

I was happy to see some of the local villagers’ curiosity and participation throughout the day. Some helped us assemble the lights while others prepared the right spots for installation by building bamboo stands. The weather was kind to us, so by 5 p.m., nearly all the lights were installed – just before dark!

After completing all the hard work, our team recorded a group video using a drone that all of the Orang Asli children chased after.

Thanks to our service project providing light to a village in darkness, 150 villagers in Orang Asli will now have more productive, higher-quality lives during the dark hours of the day. I’m so glad I got to play a role in that.

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