Stories from the Field



Lighted Pathway to Success — Solar lights changing lives in Rural Ghana

Enthusiasm and light radiate from Peter Yobo as he talks about helping underprivileged youth reach their own unique potential. He feels that even people growing up in dire circumstances can be agents of positive change within their communities and around the world, but first, they need two things: assistance and exposure.

Peter and fellow native Ghanian, Pichon Duplon, co-founded a youth empowerment organization



Let there be light — Agami and One Million Lights’ initiative to distribute solar lanterns amongst poor students in Bangladesh. Solar lights will go to all the students in Agami’s school projects in Bangladesh. The organization has partnered with One Million Lights ( ) in implementing this rather ambitious project. We are calling it ‘Let There Be Light’ in the spirit of the famous unfinished movie of the same name by the film maker Zahir Raihan who was killed during the 1971 liberation war.

65% of Bangladesh’s population does not have access to modern power supply and, thus, their entire livelihood at night is still dependent upon old fashion Kupees or lanterns…

India – Maharashtra

India - Maharashtra

Solar Lights Changing Lives — One Million Lights partnered with Desh Seva Samiti, an Indian nonprofit NGO, and Paadhai, an international nonprofit NGO to distribute lights in a number of tribal regions in Maharashtra, India. Here’s a little bit about our new partner: Desh Seva Samiti is a strictly non-profit organization, deeply committed to social work. It was registered in February 2005. It was the outcome of discussions held among a group of citizens who were concerned about the increasing impoverishment of the people. There are still people in a metropolis like Mumbai, which is regarded as the commercial capital of India, who are condemned to darkness because they cannot afford the cost of a cataract operation. There are thousands of rag-pickers who…

India – Kerala

India - Kerala

Partnering to Bring Light to Dark Places — Desh Seva Samiti and Paadhai Partner with One Million Lights to send Solar Lights to tribal regions of Kerala, India. Ramesh Santhanam of Paadhai went to a couple of tribal villages, deep in the forest – which are isolated and without any electricity – to distribute some solar lanterns. The villages were Chullikkad near Pulppally and Kariyathan colony near Kalpetta.

He said “It is amazing to see that there are so many involved in making this happen. Right from… OML who are working with Paadhai on this Solar Lantern distributions, DSS who imported the lamps and loaned us for this particularly donation…


Imagine a hospital without light — A Story from Rural Nigerian Maternity Wards by Laura Stachel of WE CARE Solar.

I have travelled to Northern Nigeria several times over the last two years to learn about emergency care of childbearing women and their children. 60% of Nigeria has no access to electricity, and the remaining 40% that do have access, only have electricity for a few hours a day. Sadly, even hospitals are included in this rationing of power. Time and time again, I witnessed situations where effective light could be the difference between performing a procedure or sending a patient away, between doing a c/section or transferring a woman to another hospital, between life and death.

Matt’s Story – Peru

Clean, Safe Light Changes Lives — Hendrix Students Deliver Solar Powered Lights to Peruvians Living without Electricity.

Matt Youngblood can be pretty skeptical about charitable donations. He wonders if the money will go to the right people or be used in the right way. One thing he really appreciated about participating in the One Million Lights Global Ambassador Program was that all of his fears were dispelled through the hands-on and deeply personal experience of doing the service work himself.



Healing Power of Hands, both small and large, in Haiti — Children use the Power of their Pennies to send Solar Lights to Haiti.

It all started with a terrible earthquake in Haiti. Elementary students and healthcare workers in Palo Alto, CA put their grief and sadness to work and have sent 20 solar lights to the people of Musseau, Haiti, with plans to send at least 80 more in March.

The students at Escondido Elementary donated their annual fundraiser, Penny Power, to One Million Lights so that they could send much needed


Roxana’s story — Anna Sidana visited eleven-year-old Roxana in the Andes Mountains of Peru. Roxana lives in the village of Amaru, high in the Andes with her parents, Seuprung and Sera. Their day starts at 5:30am and they all share in the workload together. For breakfast, Roxana skips with the sheep and plays with the chickens, bringing back six fresh, and needless to say, organic eggs. After an early breakfast of creamed wheat, eggs, and tea, Roxana studies in the morning light before going to school, a few fields away.

Sera takes time out of her morning to dye her wool into bright colors with plant extracts, and weaves her poncho before starting to cook lunch with…

Kenya – We Lit up a Masai Village!

We Lit up a Masai Village! — Anna Sidana traveled to Kenya to distribute 200 solar lights. When I made plans to take solar lights to a small village school in the Transmara region in Kenya, Africa, I did not know what to expect.

I had met Kimeli Wilson Naiyomah, a Masai warrior, earlier in the summer. Kimeli was working with the company SunPower Solar to get solar panels for his childhood school in the village of Enoosaen in the heart of Masai land. However, Kimeli was concerned that even though the children would have light in the school they would still have to read by the light of smoky and hazardous kerosene…

India – Tamil Nadu

India - Tamil Nadu

Distributing solar lights in rural, Southern India by Joan Dorsey — The absolute joy in the face of a child who has just received his very own solar light… so that he can read at night… is 100% worth every penny. Trust me. I’ve seen it. I’ve felt it. And I am now on a mission. Please help me, one light at a time.

Scrubbed clean, on their best behavior, and in their finest clothes, the community’s children quietly arrive to receive their solar lamps from One Million Lights. No, they’re not praying, they are greeting me with murmurs of Namaste, hello and welcome. We are all gathered in Ganganahalli – a small hamlet community situated on the border of…


Sierra‘s Reflections - Philippines
After a week-long distribution of 180 solar lights, Light Ambassador Sierra Fan reflects on her experience in the Philippines.

Distributing solar lights in rural India
The absolute joy in the face of a child who has just received his very own solar light… so that he can read at night… is 100% worth every penny.

Jessica‘s story - Olmoti Clinic, Tanzania
Ambassador Jessica Matthys: The solar lanterns will make a significant impact on these women‘s lives.