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.
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.