Peddlers of light
MANILA, Philippines – Somewhere in the Riau archipelago in Indonesia lies an offshore island called Pulau Air Raja. These days the Water King Island is an idyllic rural community, with flickering lights dotting the island at night.
But back in 2010, the island was much darker, and felt much farther away. It is less than an hour by boat from the bustling port city of Batam, but back then there was no electricity, and not all of the houses had potent water.
Fisherman Pak Bakri hoped to change things. He dreamed of a development that was both progressive and sustainable – to clean up the waters surrounding the island and give people another income source apart from fishing.
Singapore-based Nusantara Development Initiatives (NDI) took notice of his plans, and carried out a long-term developmental project on the island. Its first step? To light up the island, and to make productive the women often left behind by their fishermen husbands during daytime. The NDI worked closely with the women and taught them how to craft and make a living out of solar lamps.
Watch this video to see how the mothers of Pulau Air Raja became empowered peddlers of light.
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