In the middle of last year, Illac Diaz happened to watch Pay It Forward, the 2000 Mimi Leder drama that starred Haley Joey Osment. In the movie, Osment plays a kid who decides to repay a favor by doing good deeds to three people, who in turn will do the same to three others.
This got Diaz, who has been a social entrepreneur since the early aughts, thinking: why don’t we start a chain of our own? “Social entrepreneurs can really solve many problems,” he says—even ones mired in a health crisis.
This led to the creation of Light It Forward last July. The campaign challenges individuals to build one solar-powered lamp, post it on their social media accounts, and tag friends to do the same. The lamps will then be donated to an electricity-deficient home, an “energy poverty” that affects around 20 million Filipinos.
Light It Forward falls under Diaz’s venture called Liter of Light, an initiative that started in 2013 that bills itself as a “grassroots green lighting program bringing low-cost, zero-carbon solar bottle bulbs to underprivileged communities worldwide.” This initiative has spread to 32 countries—Colombia, Yemen, India, Bangladesh, just to name a few—empowering around one million people a year.
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LIGHT THE WAY
ILAC DIAZ’s Liter of Light has been helping to illuminate homes for almost a decade— even throughout the challenges brought about by the pandemic. This year, they want to place the spotlight on Filipino heroism
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