RE-Charge Tacloban

RE-Charge Tacloban: RE-Charge TekPak Development

Tacloban, PhilippinesPhilippines
Year Founded:
Organization type: 
nonprofit/ngo/citizen sector
Project Stage:
$50,000 - $100,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

The RE-Charge TekPak is a portable off-grid power source that uses photovoltaic technology. It aims to provide power source before, during, and after disaster situations. This modified and simplified solar energy source can easily be used by women and youth.

WHAT IF - Inspiration: Write one sentence that describes a way that your project dares to ask, "WHAT IF?"

What if every humanitarian relief and community organization has a clean energy source for their disaster response?
About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

In a disaster situation like typhoon Haiyan, both responders and survivors are faced with the lack of access to energy source. Energy access is very important in medical situations and communications. Medical situations include laboring women needing light, and asthma attacks needing nebulizer. Communications are necessary during disaster for relay of information including number of casualties, medical aid required, relief goods required, etc.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

Investment on research and development paved the way for the RE-Charge TekPak, a portable solar module made for off-grid power allocation, majorly aimed but not limited to disaster response. Two 50-watt solar modules were modified to include a handle and a locking provision and can charge up the 12V 12AH Voltage Regulated Lead Acid Maintenance-free battery. The system can power up three light bulbs with hanging provisions, three available USB ports, and an inverter for low power AC applications.
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

Along the deployment of the RE-Charge TekPak to communities is the Solar Scholars training where the participants learn about the basics of electricity and solar energy along with disaster response. The scholars not only took home the TekPak which they were able to use both in community activities and disaster situations but also gained a capability and skill to operate, and troubleshoot basic photovoltaic systems. Many of them are now capable of doing re-echo trainings in their communities as well as become part of solar installation jobs.

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact for the coming years.

Ten Solar Scholars communities were granted a RE-Charge TekPak that they were able to use for community power needs and disaster situations. These communities are all Haiyan-affected and climate change affected areas. Three of the 52 Solar Scholars were employed to do Solar installation jobs. Youth scholars were able to echo their knowledge to their own communities. The packs are used in community activities, medical emergencies and other common uses especially that two out of the eight communities are not connected to grid electricity.

Spread Strategies: Moving forward, what are the main strategies for scaling impact?

Moving forward, our solar scholars will be given advanced training on troubleshooting solar PV and also on disaster response. We aim to partner with humanitarian groups so that our Solar Scholars, under the banner "RE-Serve Corps" will serve as backbone to front line responders during disasters. The RE-Serve Corps will provide the needed off-grid electricity using the RE-Charge TekPak in disaster hit areas.

Financial Sustainability Plan: What is this solution’s plan to ensure financial sustainability?

A number of the first batch of fabricated TekPaks were given out to communities with the option to pay in monetary and non-monetary form. Non-monetary came in the form of products such as lobsters, potatoes, squash, dried fish, crabs, among others and services such as electrical rewiring for our office and facility. Monetary payment were given by partner NGOs and the money will be used to produce more TekPaks in the future.

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

This initiative is believed to be the first of its kind.

Founding Story

It seems like it's been taking forever and until today it's still mostly the same. Humanitarian groups have for so long tried to respond to emergencies without power or opt to buying diesel gensets that quickly prove useless because they're just too expensive to operate after the emergency period is past. But the 'Aha!' moment was Yolanda/Haiyan. Seeing too many instances where responders ran out of power time and again, and so we decided to put up RCT, which we said would house not just the Ejeepneys but the Solar Scholars program too, including appropriate renewable energy solutions. We know there's no forever and that's why we put together the Tekpak.


Red Constantino - Executive Director of the Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities Andrea Xayide Gaurana - Project Manager for iCSC's RE-Charge Tacloban initiative, Solar Scholars head facilitator and resource person on Renewable Energy, Electricity, and the RE-Charge TekPak, head of the RE-Charge TekPak research and development team Glinly Alvero - Outreach and Technical Officer for RE-Charge Tacloban, Solar Scholars resource person on solar photovoltaic and RE-Charge TekPak, member of the RE-Charge TekPak research and development team
Please confirm how you heard about the Unilever Awards:


Please confirm your role in the initiative (eg Founder/co-Founder) and your organisational title:


Which of the 8 UN Global Goals (Sustainable Development Goals) pre-selected for this competition does your solution relate most closely to? [select all that apply]

Affordable and Clean Energy.

Leadership and the Unilever Awards
Please provide examples of any previous entrepreneurial initiatives you have pioneered.

The RE-Charge Tacloban initiative also houses four electric jeepneys and two converted Haiyan-damaged vehicles. The electric vehicles ply the public routes of Tacloban City along side the internal combustion engine jeepneys. The E-jeeps charge the same tariff as the ICE jeeps. The electric jeepney entrepreneurship is also in the experimental stage as it is testing out new business structures that do away with the typical Filipino transport system called 'boundary system'.

Beyond your existing team, who else are you working with to achieve your objectives, eg partners, advisors, mentors?

We work along side different NGOs such as Oxfam in Eastern Visayas, PKKK (NATIONAL RURAL WOMEN COALITION), and many other people's organizations and community organizations.