Saturday, November 15, 2008

Human Dignity Initiative

Today I volunteered for an incredible organization called the Human Dignity Initiative. There was a conference of a group of visionary university students who are recipients of the Millennium Scholarship, and they were participating in a weekend of networking and thought-provoking workshops. I was the facilitator of a brainstorming session on different marketing initiatives HDI could consider when getting the message out!

The first project that HDI is undertaking is bringing solar power to war torn countries. This will be accomplished by bringing solar powered flashlights to communities that currently don't have light. This is awesome because it will empower the women and children, who spend the most time at home, to extend their working hours beyond daylight. Women who are striving to support their families through economic projects, including artisan crafts, will now have light to do their work by!

This amazes me. I honestly can say that I take light for granted, and when I think about not having light to make my ecocessories jewelry by, it is pretty unimaginable. However, this is the daily struggle of very many women! These flashlights will be durable, and easy to use. They will provide 360 degree light to fill a room, and will be a sustainable and healthy alternative. Currently kerosene lanterns and fires are used for lighting which both produce harmful air pollutants and cause injuries. In fact, 2.5 million people are burned every year in India from overturned lamps. Also, the World Bank estimates that 780 million women and children breathe in kerosene lantern fumes with the harmful equivalent to 2 pack of cigarettes a day!

All of this is staggering, and I am just happy to be getting involved in something that I can relate so easily to. I love running a creative business, and the tools that I use to operate are so valuable to me, but honestly none of it would matter without having the light to work by!


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