Marking the milestone of their 100th voyage, Peace Boat, a non-government organization in Japan teams up with Liter of Light (1LL). In this voyage, both Peace Boat and 1LL are set on crossing borders to spread awareness about their causes, which includes promoting peace, human rights, equal and sustainable development and respect for the environment, with 1LL focusing on addressing energy poverty. The journey will start in Yokohama, Japan on December 26 and will circumnavigate the world for a hundred days.
One of the journey’s highlights are workshops from 1LL Executive Director Illac Diaz. Passengers on board will learn about making sustainable solar lights, and the finished products will be donated to communities accessible from the ports where Peace Boat will dock.
The organizations started talking about a collaboration during the World Future Energy Summit held in Abu Dhabi in January 2016. The idea of working together on a joint project came up immediately, with Peace Boat being an active campaigner for the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This collaboration between the two agencies will help create awareness about SDGs, with 1LL focusing on renewable energy.
Getting ready for the voyage
Last month, 1LL traveled to Japan to meet with Peace Boat founder and director Yoshioka Tatsuya to officially kick off the partnership with Peace Boat. They trained youth Peace Boat volunteers to build simple, community-built solar lighting solutions in a workshop, with the volunteers building over 30 kits that will be brought and distributed during the voyage.
“Liter of Light believes in the power of youth to solve the greatest challenges to our planet and community,” said Diaz. “We are excited to continue our journey of light with Peace Boat, where we will have the incredible opportunity to teach, learn, and share sustainable solutions to energy poverty and other development challenges globally.”
Tatsuya believes in the impact that this partnership can create. “The combination of Liter of Light and Peace Boat voyages will bring real visibility and concrete results to promote SDG 7 and renewable energy around the world. This partnership will be a game changer by showcasing how organizations can join their forces and multiply their impact. ” Tatsuya said.
Partnering for the UN SDGs
The trip not only serves as an avenue for both organizations to widen their reach and impact, but it also gives both a chance to share their humble beginnings. Peace Boat started out with four students who were curious about Japan’s role during World War II. In 1983, they chartered a ship and went around Asia and the Pacific to reach out to different countries and hear people’s stories about their experiences during the war. Since then, Peace Boat has organized voyages to spread awareness about sustainability, building meaningful partnerships while educating passengers and different communities. Peace Boat is also a member of the steering committee for the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), recipients of the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize. Having supported the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) Campaign since 2009, Peace Boat has renewed its commitment to building a more equitable and sustainable world by pledging its support for the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, otherwise known as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
When Liter of Light started in 2011, its mission and focus was simple: to provide solar lighting that is accessible and sustainable for grassroots communities. Redesigning solar lighting for the developing world, 1LL’s simple, two-step technology creates local jobs, teaches green skills, and empowers energy-poor communities. Rather than depending on imported, patented, and expensive technologies, this grassroots green lighting movement makes it possible for anyone to become a solar engineer. Making this an open-source technology and sharing all the information on the internet, social media and teaching caravans has helped Liter of Light to expand to over 30 countries, light up almost one million households around the world, help reduce carbon emissions by a bottom up approach and spread the idea of green and sustainable technology.
From Yokohama, Japan, the voyage will cover a southern hemisphere route, docking in 19 ports around Asia, Africa, and South America, including Madagascar, South Africa, Brazil and Patagonia. They will also visit Mauritius, Rapa Nui, Tahiti and Samoa, where participants will learn about the issues faced by the indigenous people of these islands. The joint activities with Liter of Light will constitute one of the main themes of this voyage, alongside the celebration of the 35th anniversary of Peace Boat. The voyage is going to be the first Filipino global campaign under the UN SDGs, with 1LL focusing on SDG 7 or renewable energy.
You can follow the Voyage of Light on Facebook (@A Liter of Light), Instagram (@literoflight), and on Liter of Light’s website at www.literoflight.org