One Absolutely Brilliant Idea

By: Joe Truini

City in the Philippines

Everything is in short supply in the slums of Southeast Asia, except heartbreak and misery. Millions of people for generations have lived without direct access to clean water, food, electricity, housing, employment, transportation, medical care, and virtually everything else that our society takes for granted.

And in one dark, sad Filipino village in particular, Sitio Maligaya, even daylight is a luxury that’s inaccessible to most. That’s because the windowless shacks that dominate the landscape are packed so tightly together, no sunlight can enter. As a result, most villagers live in total darkness—day and night. But even here, in this dark, depressed place, there’s a ray of hope.

Houses in PhilippinesA program called, Isang Litrong Liwanag, which translates to “A Liter of Light,” has brought interior lighting to slums throughout Southeast Asia—without the benefit of electricity. As this video shows, the program is based on an ingeniously simple, yet brilliant idea: use empty one-liter soda bottles to create roof-mounted solar skylights. This is DIY ingenuity at its very best.

The soda bottles are filled with water (and a little bleach to prevent mildew growth) and then dropped down through holes cut in the corrugated-metal roofs of the shacks. When sunlight shines through the water, it’s refracted and illuminated, creating as much light as a 55-watt incandescent bulb.

For all of us here at TodaysHomeowner.com and Today’s Homeowner with Danny Lipford, we applaud this amazing, life-altering program. We have a great deal of respect and admiration for do-it-yourselfers, and believe that even a simple idea, when properly executed, can have an enormous impact on someone’s life.

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