Since our beginnings more than 10 years ago, at the acciona.org Foundation we have had the support of many ACCIONA employees who, on an individual basis, participate in the foundation’s projects in Peru, Mexico and, now, Panama by contributing with their resources and knowledge unselfishly.
The first volunteer going to Panama has been Marta Serrano Manero, who works at the ACCIONA’s Innovation Directorate. She collaborated with the Luz en Casa programme in the Ngäbe-Buglé indigenous region and these are her first impressions: “The volunteering has been amazing, an incredible experience and a real adventure I recommend to everybody. Each day is different and you feel truly useful, though you must be a brave, adventurous, very flexible and willing person. Some days are hard due to the early mornings, the heat, the humidity, the mosquitos…, but these circumstances lose their importance when you think about what you are giving in return. I am so happy to have done this volunteering and I’m looking forward to apply again next year”.
We work in communities where, due to economic, social, logistic or climatological reasons, having access to guaranteed services is unfeasible in a traditional way, through distribution networks. This is the reason why we offer alternative solutions, such as the access to the electricity service by means of third generation solar home systems (3GSHS), about which Marta explains: “I think the 3GSHS are a wonderful answer; they are easy and quick to install. I’ve seen how the photovoltaic energy has improved the life of these people, specially the women who have electricity to sew and cook more easily now. Many of them make clothes that afterwards sell in the small markets of their region, the town of David or the Nuestra Señora del Camino Foundation at San Felix, with the subsequent economic improvement these extra incomes imply to their families”.
As Marta says, the electricity service we provide impacts positively on different aspects of the lives of the attended communities, such as performing domestic and productive tasks, as well as on their education, family life, entertainment activities, environment… The volunteers –through their involvement, good work and observation of local guidelines in carrying out the tasks entrusted– contribute to both the correct progress of the projects and the durability & increase of their impact, while they live a unique experience. This is how Marta ends her testimony: “In general, it has been a very positive experience. I commit a lot to everything I do and it has been very cheering to be part of the essential, supportive work performed with these communities.”
More information about our in-person volunteers at https://acciona.org/about-us/volunteering/