Although many of the children on Ilin Island struggle to eat everyday, their laughter and joy always filled our hearts.
Although the sun sets Trinidad Chapel every day, it is always a source of light for the people living on the island. Pastored by Father Fernando Suarez.
Life can be very difficult on Ilin Island, but the people are so beautiful.
This kerosene lamp is what keeps many families in poverty.
Mayette, her sister Marivic and daughter Majoy live in this Bahay kudo with her father and proudly display their new metal roof. Mayette loves how the rain sounds on her new metal roof.
Here, our Creative Director Kevin Kuster teaches his new friend “Michael Jordan” how to blow bubbles. Connecting with the people is as important as providing the lights. We want the recipients to know they are not forgotten and that they are loved.
Founders Nancy and John Economou stand with the first family to ever receive a solar light from Watts of Love.
A husband and wife add on to their existing bamboo hut. Everything is cut with a machete and hammer. They can only work during the day and with a new source of dependable lighting, they will be able to expedite the completion of their home.
“Giving my students solar lights to study at night would change every student’s life. The light would allow them to study at night and would help them retain more of what I teach during the day.” ~Oliver Rodriguez, high school teacher on Ilin Island.
Another beautiful sunset on Ilin island. However, as the sun fades, most of the villagers will be left in complete darkness until the sun rises again.
After dropping off our third solar light, we had to make our four-mile trip back over some of the most rugged terrain we have ever encountered in complete darkness. Thanks to our lights, navigation was made possible,
This woman living in a partially-burned hut was abandoned by all of her family except her granddaughter because, in her own words, she is “too poor to be loved.” We will never forget you, Nini and Olif, and most importantly, WE will always love you!
This father cried as he told us that on the day we had arrived, no one in the family had eaten for days because they had no money.
Here, locals are in the process of preparing to transfer cows to the mainland to sell for supplies. With solar lanterns and headlamps, they will be able to navigate the waters at dusk to increase their productivity.
On the move and lending a hand to those in need. The children on Ilin island loved to hold our hands as we walked from village to village.
This mother of seven children proudly reported more than doubling her daily income in a mere 24 hours by using her lantern to whittle 1,000 additional bamboo skewers after dusk that she was able to sell at market the next day. This allowed her to purchase more food for her family and to realize how many different ways her lantern would help her better provide for her children.
What we hadn’t expected was that the end result would be completely transformational for everyone who received their messages of love, light and HOPE.
If giving these children a little joy, time, and solar light encourages them, even slightly, to NEVER GIVE UP, then we will never stop trying to do our part.