Everyday new NGOs and non-profits are started with elaborate goals to change the world. Their lofty goals often fulfill western ideas of what the 3rd world needs. The Isang Litrong Liwanag (A Liter of Light) project set out to create something that is simply useful–light in the homes of those who cannot afford it. Instead of teaching things like finger-painting for children or candle making to adults so they can sell them to tourists, this non-profit set out to give people the much needed light in the slums where the corrugated steel roofs on their homes block light 24 hours per day, giving them a safe and sustainable solution to one of their most basic problems.
Illac Diaz created the MyShelter foundation and amongst their many programs, one of their current goals it to brighten up one million homes in the Philippines by 2012. They have instructions for the simple technology engineered by students from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), so the bottles filled with sunshine can be easily installed anywhere to allow a higher quality of life for the less fortunate all over the world. Ideas like this pave the way to a more sustainable future by inventing new ways of reusing refuse to replace energy sucking technologies like light bulbs. It is a double edged sword of problem solving in a time when our increasing world population needs to think smarter while our demands on resources continue increasing at an exponential rate.