Stay Empowered: How to Bring One Million Lights to the World

March 12, 2015
Original article here

3 facts about Anna Sidana

  • Founder of ‘One Million Lights’, non-commercial organization that distributed more than 60 thousand solar lights and helped more than 400 thousand of people without electricity to get the light to their homes
  • Artist
  • Strategic Marketing Consultant

Empowered By Light

  • I think it’s possible for anyone in any country to find a way out of poverty. The main ingredient for that is to create an environment of hope, when people feel empowered and believe they can do something about their lives. And that’s where ‘One Million Lights’ comes to play.
  • Anna Sidana distributing light

    Light itself doesn’t do anything but creates an environment of hope

  • Light itself doesn’t do anything. You have to use it; you have to take your own initiative. But it provides people with empowerment and hope they need.
  • As a result of ‘One Million Lights’, my hope is that many children will go to college, study, become engineers, doctors and professionals in other areas.
  • There are 1.3 billion people who live without electricity. We’ve distributed more than 60 thousand solar-power lights. When we reach 1 Million goal we’ll keep going.
  • Having a letter every now and then, I remember one from a girl in the high school in my father’s village. She wrote me saying that she had to study at night as she was obliged to help at the farm during the day. With kerosene light, to do her homework was extremely hard. Having the light, she can continue her studies.
  • I like to say that light is as fundamental as food, water and shelter.

Empowered By Life’s Choice

  • I left home when I was 18, and that was a very defining moment. I had to figure out my path in life, decide what sort of person I wanted to be and what my priorities were. Suddenly I had responsibility for myself instead of depending on family and parents.
  • Anna Sidana

  • In London, I had to work during the day. I went to night school so I had to study at night. That gives me special appreciation of children in rural areas that don’t have access to light.
  • Major source of power for me is when I’m out for a walk, out in nature, maybe for a hike. When I’m fully immersed in my own thoughts, find my clarity of thoughts, focus and when I come back from my walk I know what my place is and what I have to do about things.
  • I’ve never thought of chasing politics career. Political stage takes a different kind of person.
  • I feel harmony when I hear a story of a child whose life was improved. When I’m with my family and friends enjoying a meal I find it very satisfying. And I’m at complete peace when I’m doing art.
  • If I have a choice and a magic wand I would eliminate war out of the world. I think that’s the most destructivething that causes a lot of grief, pain and destroys civilizations, people and progress.
  • Men and women are equal but different. I believe people need to respect the differences while they treat each other with respect and provide equal opportunities to everyone.
  • The most important role for me is being a mother. I have two children who are young adults now. Having a privilege to bring them up and to see them flourish as creative, intelligent, responsible people is my greatest pleasure.
  • When I’m thinking about myself I think of a free spirit. I’m a free spirit. I like doing non-profit, so I’m doing non-profit. I like doing art – I do that.
  • My children, parents and friends are the most beautiful persons for me.
  • What strikes me the most in my children is that they’re very compassionate, generous, intelligent, loving, and socially conscious young people. They’re not living in a bubble world, they are very aware of social issues in the world.

Empowered by Art

  • Many great artists today are still from 17th and 18th centuries. That proves that art lives on. My favorite artist is Frida Kahlo. She is very inspiring. Had very challenging life in some ways, she still managed to establish herself as a successful female artist at the beginning of 20th century which was very impressive to me. And her art lives on.
  • Anna's Art

  • When I paint myself I like to use bright colors because it reminds me of India.
  • I grew up with a lot of women leaders in my life. I appreciate Indira Gandhi, Margaret Thatcher but I especially love to see great women artists like Frida Kahlo.
  • I was influenced by Picasso when I was a child so that impacts the way I work. But I have my own style, it’s contemporary, modern,and meaningful to me and I hope to people who like my art as well.
  • It’s hard to explain life – it’s such a beautiful thing.