Lighting Up Rural Island Communities Through Metal-Air LED Lantern Activated by Salt Water

Sustainable and cost-effective ecologically designed lantern activated by salt water to extend school and work hours in rural villages.

Photo of Aisa Mijeno
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I confirm that I am fully aware of the eligibility criteria, and based on its description, I am eligible to apply to the CSV Prize 2017.

  • Yes, I'm eligible

Preferred language

  • English

Organization name


Year founded


Initiative stage

  • Growth (the pilot has already launched and is starting to expand)

Annual budget in 2017 (USD)

  • $10k - $50k

Number of beneficiaries impacted so far

  • 500 - 1,000

Organization type

  • Social enterprise

Secondary Focus Area

  • Rural development

Headquarters location: Country

  • Philippines

Headquarters location: City

117-A Technology Avenue, Laguna Technopark, Biñan, Laguna 4024

Location(s) of impact

Philippines: - Barangay Bulalacao, Oriental Mindoro - Barangay Gabi, Carles, Iloilo - Buscalan, Tingalayan, Kalinga - Barangay Pamintahan, Lipa


Facebook URL

Twitter URL

Problem: What problem is this initiative trying to address?

1 out of 6 people still live without access to electricity, that is 16% of world's population about 1.2 billion people. And most of these communities use kerosene lanterns as their main source of lighting. Kerosene had become a commodity to households in unelectrified marginalized communities. We wanted to replace this with a more cost-effective, safe and environmentally friendly lighting option.

Solution Summary: What is the proposed solution? What do you see as its most promising aspects for creating shared value?

Over the past 5 years, we have been researching on various materials to implement for the type of application that we have which is a lighting system. This led us to develop and design a system that will make use of metal-air battery concept that lasts much longer for lantern application than what is currently existing, making it more efficient for daily use. We have innovated a system that will make the materials and its physical properties much stronger used for such application. Inspired by the resiliency of the Filipino people, we have originally developed this system for rural island communities not connected to the power grid.

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Specify both the social and the environmental impact of your work

The model that we are working on involves our organization marketing and selling to foundations, NGOs, LGUs and organizations heavily involved with CSR to keep us financially afloat while not straying from our advocacy. As of the moment, we have already successfully done our pilot to 4 villages around the country. Focusing on the local market, there are 293 NGOs registered under the Philippine Council for NGO Certification (PCNC, 2012). Three categories, namely; environmental, social development, and social welfare, were deemed related to SALt's product and advocacy. LGUs provide assistance to the residents who have experienced catastrophes or calamities. Thus, SALt can tap LGUs especially those prone to climate and geophysical disasters and those in unelectrified regions in order to deliver their products to these communities.

Financial sustainability plan: How is this initiative financially supported? How will you ensure its financial sustainability long-term?

We have completed the research and development of our first and flagship product and have managed to raise $100,000.00 in cash or equivalent. We have partnered with key suppliers and manufacturing for mass production. We are currently raising through venture capitalists an amount that would be enough to help us roll the mass production for 6 months, after this, we will be able to sustain the production through lamp and anode refill sales.

Unique value proposition: What makes your initiative innovative? How does your project differ from other organizations working in the same field?

We have 3 provisional patents and 1 utility model in submission. We have improved and innovated upon the longevity and the efficiency of the core technology. Finding the most effective combination of proprietary materials, ergonomics, and circuit design to bring about the technology that would be a more sustainable light source than the pervasive kerosene lanterns and weather-dependent solar lamps for typhoon-stricken areas and rural marginalized island communities.

Founding story: Share a story about the "Aha!" moment that sparked the beginning of this initiative.

Aisa Mijeno, our CEO, and Co-founder is a faculty member of Engineering and Innovation Labs Director at De La Salle University — Lipa. Being a member of Greenpeace PH, she has traveled many places promoting environmental campaigns. She also loves hiking which brought her to the majestic mountains of northern Philippines where it all began. The product concept was formed after living with a tribe for days relying only on kerosene lamps to do evening chores.

Where did you hear about the Nestlé Creating Shared Value Prize?

  • Ashoka page or contact


Join the conversation:

Photo of Mouhamadou Moustapha Seck

Great challenge. Good luck.

Photo of Aisa Mijeno

Appreciate the thumbs up, Mouhamadou!

Photo of Mouhamadou Moustapha Seck

It's a pleasure to read your work´It's really exciting and promising at the same time. This initiative has everything to improve the life conditions of many families. Congratulations one more time and will be a pleasure help you for anything. Cheers.

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