1 Liter of Light at Rio+20

Aside from the policy discussions among top-level  government officials at Rio+20, this week’s summit provides a valuable venue for thousands of non-governmental participants to connect, share their ideas and forge crucial partnerships. Rio Matters caught up with Illac Diaz of 1 Liter of Light, whose work we spotlighted earlier this month, to talk about his experience at Rio+20. Diaz shared his reflections on the summit, as well as this collection of photos of his visit to a Rio shantytown.  (Photos by Alex Rodrigues, Digital Ally.)

1 Liter of Light’s advantage is its grassroots philosophy that is replicable anywhere it is needed in the world. Rio +20 was an incredible opportunity for 1 Liter of Light to share and spread this philosophy with communities that want and need solar lighting, or want to build solar day lighting for others.

On Monday, June 11, I shared 1 Liter of Light’s story with youth from all over the world at the TED X “Human Power” event at the Copacabana Fort. The following week, 1 Liter of Light staff and volunteers went to the Mangueira favela and lit up a home with solar bottles. In a matter of just a few minutes, we lit up what was once a dark home and showed the community that access to electricity was well within their reach. This was an incredible start in what can eventually transform the whole hillside and a small step towards creating many other community-based green technologies that can be acted upon immediately for those at the bottom of the pyramid.

Even though the discussions at Rio +20 did not advance as far as many hoped, 1 Liter of Light is grateful to have had the chance to exchange ideas and solutions with others in business, government, and civil society who are all committed to sustainable development.

Illac Diaz and 1 Liter of Light staff visited the Mangueira favela, a shantytown in Rio de Janeiro’s North Zone, on June 18 to find it heavily guarded.

A steep climb.

This view of construction is a common sight as Rio prepares to host the 2014 FIFA World Cup and the 2016 Olympic Games.

The group got a glimpse of local culture: Mangueira is home of the city’s famed samba school, Gremio Recreativo Escola de Samba Mangueira.

Performers at Gremio Recreativo Escola de Samba Mangueira.

The group meets Mangueira resident Seu Sergio, in whose home 1 Liter of Light would install a solar bottle light.

A view of the dim lighting inside Sergio’s home.

1 Liter of Light’s plastic bottle bulb allows sunlight to filter through.

One comment

  1. […] Illac Diaz and 1 Liter of Light spoke to Rio Matters at the Rio+20 summit. Click here to read about their experience and see photos from their […]

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