Unite to Light Blog

Light for the Elderly
International Day of Light 2020

May 16, 2020

Light makes up the very essence of life -- from photosynthesis that enables plants to grow -- to advancements in education, health and communication. At Unite to Light we understand the power of light: that it can increase graduation rates, improve maternal and infant health, aid in disasters and offer hope to people living on the streets. So, on Saturday, May 16th we celebrate the International Day of Light! According to UNESCO:

The International Day of Light celebrates the role light plays in science, culture and art, education, and sustainable development, and in fields as diverse as medicine, communications, and energy...This day is a call to strengthen scientific cooperation and harness its potential to foster peace and sustainable development.

A woman in Kenya receive solar Luke Lights. 
Today, we want to focus on the incredible impact that light has had on  the lives of the elderly all over the world. 
This is Mrs. Udima Devi, age 75 years. She is a widow and lives alone in her small hut in India. She was gifted a solar Luke Light by a Rotary Club. Her hut and village are in the middle of the jungle and she doesn’t have an indoor toilet facility so she goes out at night, in the dark, whenever she feels the call of nature. Before the solar Luke Light, her only option for light at night was an old oil lamp that was very smokey. Most of the time, she spent the night in the dark due to lack of fuel for the oil lamp. Thanks to our Luke Light she now has a 24- hour-a day companion.
Meet Judeline, she lives in Haiti. After the earthquake in 2010, Judeline was left to care for her five grandchildren AND three neighbor children who had lost their parents. We were distributing Luke Lights to students in her community when she approached us to ask if she could have a light so that she could cook for all the children in her dark, mud hut. We gladly gave her one and her smile was all the payment we could ever need. 

The three photos below are from the Kibogora Hospital which lies on the Western coast of Rwanda on the shores of Lake Kivu, the poorest district in the country. The hospital serves a population of 250,000 people, most of whom make the equivalent of $3 US per day and rely on growing their own food to survive. Kibogora Hospital was founded in the 1940s by the Free Methodist Church.  Our friend, Caroline Minor was there this winter to visit her cousin, Julie Yerger, who has been a missionary nurse at the hospital for the last 12 years. 

They handed out Luke Lights at the Annual Christmas party to people who have been identified as "vulnerable elderly" by staff at the Kibogora Hospital. The people attending the gathering are too old to work, and do not have the support of family, so they are dependent on friends in the community and the Kibogora Hospital Missions Program for provisions.  In addition to receiving a Luke Light they were given a small bag of beans, rice, salt and a bar of soap. The people were beyond thrilled to get these lights; they live without electricity so having a light after dark revolutionized their lives.

We hope that today, on the International Day of Light, and every day, you take joy in the opportunities and advancements that we can attribute to all the light around us. At Unite to Light we work under the banner of “Save a Life. Light the World.” because we know that a single solar light can make a world of difference to a person who lives in the dark.
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