• Q: Why does One Million Lights personally matter to you?

    Q: Why does One Million Lights personally matter to you?

    A: One Million Lights personally matters to me because it provides me an avenue to help my fellow countrymen in a simple way that I know can transform their lives. I see light not as an end  solution, but rather an enabling factor that allows people to combat the symptoms and causes of poverty. Solar Lights increase disposable income for families by freeing them from the alternative of purchasing costly and toxic kerosene to light up their homes, which could make up 30% of their monthly expenses. These savings could be used for other things such as purchasing better food, making investments, education, and for emergencies. Moreover, light gives people more productive hours in a day that allows kids to study at night, and parents to take advantage of other livelihood opportunities, thus further increasing income. I guess seeing these results after our post distribution assessments and from people's stories really gives me a sense of fulfillment.

    Aside from the direct impact on people, OML matters to me because it serves as validation to me that there is no such thing as being to young to pursue our goals and make a difference. When we started the organization, we received a lot of criticism from our peers who said our project would never work, that our intentions were corrupted by the promise of better looking resumes, and that our inexperience and age will eventually make our project ineffective. Looking at where the organization is now, gives me a sense of satisfaction and proof to myself that with passion and an attitude of perseverance, anything is possible.  Since we started, we've received 2 awards in the prepense of the Philippine president for being an outstanding student organization and for the initiative itself. At a certain point, our age, which was a main hurdle that prevented people from supporting our cause became a big advantage as people were surprised that young people could do these things. We found that people wanted to help us not just because our cause was good, but because we were young.

    Lastly, One Million Lights provides us with so many opportunities to be part of other initiatives, such as conferences and other projects that build our capacity in helping others. Moreover, we feel that these opportunities also open doors for us to take advantage of opportunities that develop us into better people.

    I see One Million Lights Philippines as some sort of universal key that not only enables me to help others, but also develop myself.

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