Cambodia is a country that has had much suffering in its history, including civil war and the genocide of intellectuals under the Pol Pot regime, between independence from France in 1953 and the signing of the Paris Peace Accords in 1991. It is still on the path to recovery today. In recent years, growing investment by international corporations, including companies from China and South Korea, has contributed to rapid economic growth, modernization of life in urban areas, and the astounding 125% mobile phone penetration rate, due in part to their extremely low cost of approximately two dollars a month. Meanwhile, electricity is very expensive compared to commodity costs and almost equal to the cost of electricity in Japan. Despite electrification rates exceeding 90% in rural areas, many households still cannot use electricity because of its high cost.
In continuation of its "100 Thousand Solar Lanterns Project" that begin in 2013, Panasonic launched the "AKARI" Bringing Light to People project in 2018 to invite the general public to join our efforts to bring solar lanterns to areas that have no electricity.
This is the fourth time that employees who have been making donations since the "100 Thousand Solar Lanterns Project" have been selected through internal recruitment to be deployed overseas as volunteer employee reporters.