It's been a while.

It's been a long time since I've blogged and a while since I've given an update to all the CPH gladiators. For this I sincerely apologize. To be honest, it's been a difficult journey and transition with CPH in Hong Kong. Despite all the hardships, CPH is always in my heart and remains a part of my soul.

I have taken the last year away from CPH to pursue a career in HK. Mainly to establish a life for myself in Hong Kong and afford the basics to survive in one of the most expensive cities in the world. Despite the initial challenges of the new job, it's been a wealth of learning in my new role that can only benefit CPH in the future. To say that my current job works on my weaknesses as CEO of CPH is an understatement. I am happy to report that I am excelling and learning new skill sets in my new job, BUT there is permanent hole in my heart that remains unfilled until I get back to CPH. Many opportunities have come to me in my months away from CPH. None that have panned out to provide sustainability to CPH. It is my greatest hope that I can find a way to make CPH stand on its own. Currently, I am trying to work with the Board to find such a way. I would love to be able to go back to Karen State, Myanmar with a proposal that will help the villages and CPH with our solar projects. The Board and I hope that we find a way to involve investors in the form of social enterprise or impact investing. 

Until then, I am excited to keep exploring opportunities and throwing out ideas for CPH. We are still planning to install solar systems to Karen State Villages in Myanmar. We are hopeful that there will be more opportunities to collaborate with the schools and provide more solar systems to students, so that we can further the education for our next generation. That is and will always remain the mission of Clean Power for Humanity. 

Thank you for your support and patience. We could not do this without all of you.

Brick, Faith, and Gladiators...


"Sometimes life is going to hit you in the head with a brick. Don't lose faith". - Steve Jobs

As many of you know, CPH has raised enough funds to do its first solar system project in K'law Gaw School, K'law Gaw village, Karen State, Myanmar in May 2017. I am thankful, grateful, and humbled by this milestone for CPH. Thank you to all our supporters and donors. This project is for all of you for believing in CPH and its mission.

With all the happy news, I must be honest, many times in the last few months I have felt like I've been hit with bricks. Whether it's disappointment in myself for not pushing hard enough for donations, or not presenting well at fundraisers, or not attending a function to get CPH's name out there because I am exhausted and sick, or just not doing enough to further CPH's mission, it's been a tough and rough journey. I do not know how entrepreneurs take on the stress and smile through every bump and road block on their own. Three very important people have shaped me and pressed me to continue CPH. They have kept the faith and recognized the milestones and the successes garnered by CPH.

My Advisory Council, which consists of Peter, Christine, and Neil are my GLADIATORS. They have never lost faith in CPH or me. Even though they are scattered around the USA and myself in Asia, each one has been onboard from the beginning and always willing to help, jump, and offer their advice on resolving a situation. Many times in the last 3 years, I have been at a loss with CPH. Not understanding why I'm doing what I'm doing, and why I moved halfway across the world to pursue my dream. I cannot express how many times my gladiators recognized my struggle and kept faith in me and CPH to continue on and keep pressing to get to the next milestone. Where I am weak, my Gladiators are STRONG! Yes, I believe that CPH had to start with a vision, a mission, and a person to put in the energy to make things happen. However, it takes an ARMY to get CPH to where it is now. 

I would of never guessed when I started CPH, it would open my eyes and heart to understanding the capacity of human kindness, love, and poverty. Without CPH I would of never understood that a necessity like electricity for lights did not exist in classrooms everywhere in the world. I am beyond humbled by my Karen family and partners for allowing CPH to install solar panel systems in their schools.

I am incredibly humbled by the faith that Peter, Neil, and Christine have in me to carry out CPH's mission. Without their expertise, CPH and I would not be where we are today. 

THANK YOU to Peter, Neil, and Christine! WE ARE DOING IT!


Happy New Year! It's been an awesome 2016!


"Great things in business are never done by one person. They're done by a team of people." -Steve Jobs

Happy New Year! Wishing you a blissful, happy, loving, and healthy 2017.

In 2016, Clean Power for Humanity (CPH) achieved many "FIRSTS". We had a lot of fun laughing (and crying) our way through ups and downs of navigating the charity space in Hong Kong. Much of what CPH accomplished is owed back to the countless individuals that provided their expertise in helping CPH grow and move forward. Clean Power for Humanity would NOT be here without the endless support, love, dinners, wine, candy, hikes, massages, and coaching from our advocates. I cannot thank my Board members enough for coaching me through the unknown world of charity's in HK and keeping me motivated and sane as I pressed on. I am truly blessed and grateful to all my friends and family in HK, New York, and New Orleans for the overwhelming likes, comments, votes of confidence, hugs, high fives, and help in 2016. Thank you for being part of my and Clean Power for Humanity's journey. Thank you for helping me achieve and become a stronger leader. The list of "FIRST's" below is an account of everything you have helped me achieve for Clean Power for Humanity in 2016. LOVE AND HIGH FIVES to all of you.

Clean Power for Humanity's List of Firsts for 2016 (in no particular order):

1. Cultivated Myanmar contacts through volunteering at Crossroads.

2. Secured free office space with WeWork for 2017.

3. Ventured to Karen State, Myanmar to research the education system, the community, and ask what is their greatest need and desire for their schools. Also to gather relevant information for board member approval and fundraising.

4. Formed partnerships with Karen Education Department and Karen National Union.

5. I slept on wooden slats close to the ground, with a mosquito net every night. I was woken up by gorgeous sunrise and put to sleep by tranquil sunsets. I trudged through rain and mud, and endured carsickness to reach the furthest Karen Schools to add to my list of schools for the solar system project. I visited 15 villages and saw 25 schools, 2 medical clinics, and 4 dormitories in 5 days that would benefit from CPH's solar system. (See my blog post from August 2016).

6. Met with principals of each Karen Schools and over 250 Karen students.

7. I was blown away by the immense importance that the community and parents place on education and the curriculum that the Karen Students follow.

8. Updated CPH's website and social media presence after consulting with two amazing and giving marketing and tech experts.

9. Cultivated contacts and found free venues to perform CPH's first and second fundraiser in HK and USA, respectively.

10. Designed and produced CPH's first "postcard" for fundraising events.

11. Designed fundraising pitch and deck for both fundraisers.

12. Designed a video detailing Karen State stats and featuring some of the schools.

13. Increased CPH's social media presence, blogging, and posting.

14. Asking friends for help!

15. Organized and hosted TWO (2) Fundraisers. One in Hong Kong and One in New York City, USA.

16. Met one of the top Generals in Karen State.

17. Fell in love with Apple and my host family.

18. Traveled to the tiny Thai town of Mae Sot to cross the border to Myanmar.

19. Ventured into one of the largest refugee camps in Thailand to try to gain some understanding and knowledge of the ethnic conflicts that are taking place in Myanmar.

20. Setup e-commerce and negotiate charity rates for transactions/donations.

21. Accepted our first donation (plus 45 more!)

22. Hired our first accountant and conducted our first annual audit in Hong Kong.

23. Finding a sustainable project that will provide light and electricity to over 1200 schools and 68,400 students.

As Steve Jobs said, this could not be done alone. Clean Power for Humanity had a full team of experts, supporters, and cheerleaders that helped us achieve these "firsts".  THANK YOU.

We cannot wait to see what happens in 2017! 



My incredible host, Eh Pho's (Apple) Story

I am Eh Pho. I was born in Karen State in Burma. There has been ongoing civil war and conflict in my country for over 60 years. When I was born there was a lot of fighting and violent ethnic conflict in Karen State. The fighting came closer and closer to our village, so finally my family decided (along with many other Karen people) to flee to Thailand. Me and my two sisters and three brothers and my parents fled and settled near the Thai-Burma border. At this time I was 4 years old.

My parents knew that it was unsafe for our family to stay where we were from. We had to move to another village first and then the community set up a camp near the border area. There was no chance for me and my siblings to get an education in Burma, so we went to school across the border, in Thailand.

Growing up and going to school in Thailand as Karen Burmese was hard for me sometimes. A lot of the times we are seen as second-class citizens and we have to work much harder to prove ourselves. I was very focused on getting good grades and doing really well in school to prove I was good enough. If I did good in school and got good grades, no one would be able to pick on me or look down on me. I didn’t like missing school. I got a little annoyed when my parents asked me to help them with their work, because that meant I had to miss days at school. At that time, my parents worked together with the community to help refugees and other Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), providing them with medical help and food security.

I just wanted to do well in school and I had no interest in doing what my parents do, especially with medical health related work. But one time, a medical training team from Partners came to us to work with my mother and the refugees and IDPs nearby. I was so surprised by how these people cared for the Karen people. They wanted to help us. They cared more about helping them than the refugees did themselves. Because I saw how much they cared for us, I wanted to help and give a better future to my people, who have no hope.  I knew that it was important to bring hope to my people by providing them the opportunity to get an education.

Children who are able to attend school in Karen state, Burma, preparing for lessons and exams is difficult. It gets dark by six pm every evening. From then on candles are the only source of light. These candle are expensive, and the weak light and soot they produce can be harmful to health. As well as this, teachers are not able to plan the following day’s teaching the evening before, which affects the quality of teaching. These problems contribute to the low percentage of children that graduate from school. The benefits from having electricity at schools goes beyond just lighting to study by at night. It provides a safe environment for community meetings, allows for night classes for adults who have to work during the day, and enables modern teaching technologies to enter the classroom.

My vision is for children all over Burma to have the same opportunities as other children; to have the freedom and opportunity to attend school and be a part of building up their own country.

I had this opportunity – I attended high school and got a university education. This has helped me a lot. It made me realize that I have choices for the future. I want to be able to share this with people in Burma. So that they too can see that there is hope for the future, for consolidation and peace in Burma and for the end of conflict and violence.

I believe education is one way for Burma to be able to have peace in the future. I am working with Karen Education Department and Partners Relief and Development; helping thousands of children to get excited about education and giving them possibilities to change their own situation and realize that they have value. This gives me hope for the future of my country and my people.

-Eh Pho, August 21, 2016

There is only ONE reason

Many people have asked me why I set up Clean Power for Humanity (CPH) and how I derived at my decision to start this charity/ nonprofit. There is only ONE reason: LOVE. I have an intense love for humanity, the human spirit, and for the youth of our world. I thrive from learning about other cultures and have been humbled by others' immense capacity to open themselves, their life, and their homes to me. For me, there is no greater gift than seeing another human laughing and smiling from their eyes.

Recently, I traveled to the Karen State to explore and survey schools in villages that CPH can provide solar systems to power lights and fans so that the students can complete their homework and study after sundown and during wet season. In order to get to these villages (there are over 1200, I only saw 15), you fly into Bangkok, Thailand, and then either take a 10 hour bus or an 1 hour flight to the closest town, Mae Sot. From there you must get into a 4WD vehicle and travel for another 2 hours on narrow, pot holed, and red dirt roads. The Karen State is right over the Thai Border in Myanmar. However, due the conflict with the Burmese army, the Karen State has depended on themselves to build infrastructure in their villages. Upon reaching the villages, I felt like I was taken back to another world. The villages are PRISTINE GEMS. Untouched by mankind. Wooden thatched structures on stilts serve as homes, medical clinics, grocery stores, and schools. NONE of the villages have access to government power. Maybe 1% of the homes have 1 solar panel for lights (donated by the Thai government), but there is something to be said about being surrounded by nature and animals and GREENERY. 

I have to be honest- I AM INCREDIBLY BLESSED. I have NEVER gone a day without power, a comfortable bed, air condition, or a western toilet. I grew up in the USA and HK. My parents studied and worked hard to give my brother and I everything they didn't have. I am well educated, well traveled, and worked and lived in Manhattan post University. My minor struggles in life do not even compare to the real life-threatening struggles of the Karen people. BUT yet, they are some of the most caring, loving, welcoming, and happy people I have ever met in my life. The kids in the schools smile in class as they are learning their English and Math lessons. They want to be there, and they want to learn. Many of the families send their kids to main villages to live in a dorm for the year so that their kids can have an education. The kids learn 4 languages (English, Thai, Burmese, and Karen), Math, Political Science, History, and Geography. Somehow from the age of 5 they have learned the importance of education and studying. With no power, after they have supper, they congregate back at the school and huddle around 1 small candle to finish up their homework and help one another study. Each student will bring 1 candle, so that there are enough candles to study for the 4 hours from 6pm-10pm. (Candles cost the families 50% of their monthly income). Did I mention that these schools are built from wood? Aren't burning candles a fire hazard?! The community shares in the responsibility of ensuring that the kids are fed, bathed, and go to school. Many of the families are not educated. I never imagined that a community could value education at such a high standard. I was and am constantly amazed by the Karen people's determination, grace, and love of humanity and one another. 

I did not know what to expect as I stepped off the plane in Mae Sot to meet the General Commander. My goal for the trip was to meet as many people as I could and see as many village schools as I could. I assumed I would be staying in hotels for my time there and I think that my hosts believed the same as well. However, after dinner my first night, I was able to understand that many of these villages were far away and that I would not be able to see as many schools as I would like if I wanted to stay in a hotel. I decided to leave the hotel and kindly asked if I could stay in the villages with a host family. I figured this would be the most efficient and authentic way to understand the Karen community and village conditions. However, I did not want to impose or be a burden on a family. One family offered to take me to the Karen villages and asked me to stay with them. For the next 7 nights, I stayed in village huts, on the floor, sleeping on a mat, with a mosquito net. I was exposed to the elements. Toilets were mostly squat toilets with no flush function (you manually "flush" your doings with buckets of water). Showers were manual; you take a small bucket and douse yourself with a bucket of water from a communal well, soap head to toe, then one more bucket of water to rinse off. I got countless mosquito, spider, ants, and flea bites. I had a constant rash from the Deet that never got washed off from my body, and I was definitely afraid of the toilets. BUT I LOVED EVERY SECOND OF IT. I LOVE MY HOST FAMILY AND UNCLE GENERAL. I got to see 25 schools in 7 days; schools that have no power, filled to the brim with eager students. I got to meet older students that went on to university in Thailand. I was able to shower under the stars looking at lightening at a far off location. I was able to see pigs, goats, and chickens, run around freely. The most freeing experience was that I was able to shut off my phone (no reception, aka no internet) and be with the Karen community and focus on CPH's mission.

The villages have no power. Some are so poor that the kids only eat a handful of plain white rice for lunch at school. Some of the schools are only 2 years old because the villages only started to rebuild in 2014 after the Burmese army attacked and ethnic cleansed the villages. One such school, the photo of the students is the feature photo on my Myanmar page, is OUR NEXT GENERATION. The Karen people may not know what the future holds for them, but they DO understand that education is the key for their kids on having a better future. I look at my host family, Uncle General, and the countless kids and families I met, and I know that if CPH can provide solar to these schools, the kids will have a better opportunity to succeed and to ultimately increase their livelihood. The underlying concept of the Karen community is LOVE. Love for one another and humanity. Love for the next generation. 

I believe that no matter what, CPH's mission is to provide green powered solutions to rural villages to increase their livelihood. I have found a region, so struck with poverty, with no governmental help, no electricity, but a community full of people working hard together to provide a better future for their children and next generation by building sustainable schools for education. WE must LOVE humanity and find solutions to better the world for our next generation. CPH's solution of providing solar panels to power lights and fans for schools is not a new concept, BUT it's an essential one in villages that have no access to power. Education is the key to increasing the livelihood of our next generation. WE must help.