Lighting the Way

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Our mission

The mission of In a Perfect World is to give young people the opportunities, tools and voice to make meaningful change. We do so by providing access to education, mentoring and the arts to at-risk and high-poverty communities.

By building schools in rural communities, we are helping to break the cycle of poverty and illiteracy and empowering a new generation.

We know the power of turning this temporary “school” into that permanent one. And we know that young people given a safe and nurturing learning environment can change their communities for generations to come. But in order to succeed at school, other barriers to education must be addressed. A case in point: children who attend school during the day go home unable to study in the evening due to a lack of electricity and light. That’s where MPOWERD comes in.

A temporary classroom in Malawi and our newest school.

Meet Luci.

MPOWERD created Luci, an inflatable solar light, to empower the three billion people around the world who still live without reliable access to electricity. In many places, as soon as the sun goes down, children can’t study, entrepreneurs have to stop working, women are less safe walking outside, health clinics have to close… the list goes on. Kerosene lamps are the most common solution in these areas – but they are dangerous, toxic and expensive. Lightweight, easy to carry, and shining for hours on a single charge, Luci is a clean, safe and affordable way to bring light to the world.

In 2016, In a Perfect World partnered with MPOWERD to bring solar lights to remote rural communities in Malawi, Africa. We did it again in 2018, returning to complete one new school and to break ground on another. By providing learners with personal solar lights, studying can take place in the evenings, helping the children to succeed.

A hand up.

And so, with the help of our littlest friends, we delivered Luci lights to the learners in the village.

Learners like Lonis.

This is the moment we first met Lonis. We were in the middle of a ceremony to break ground on the school in her village. She stayed near the back of the crowd, peeking out at the events unfolding from behind a tree.

As we spent the next few days in the village, we got to know Lonis and many of the other children. Lonis told us that she’s very excited about her new school. Her favorite subjects are Chichewa and English. And since receiving her new Luci light, she’s been able to study in the evening and nurture her love of reading.

There are 362 children attending school in Lonis’ village, all benefitting from their Luci lights.

But that’s not all.

Many adults in the community are students in our Adult Literacy Program, where they learn how to read and write both English and Chichewa, financial literacy, basic hygiene and improved farming techniques.

Luci lights also enable these adult learners who study solely at night, after the children are asleep.

And then this happened.

It has always amazed us how the rural Malawians cook dinner over an open fire… in the dark. Once she finished her studies, Lonis went to help with dinner, holding a solar light so that her parents could finish cooking. Soon, her brother came and did the same.

And then we realized that other families were doing the same. After the kids finished their studies, they all went to share their lights with their parents who were preparing dinner.

Luci brought everyone together.

As a gift, they prepared a group dinner for the In a Perfect World team… two nights in a row. We were able to share with them our work and they shared with us their hopes and dreams for the future. And then, we played a little Jenga. All by the light of our Luci lights.

decorative stars decorative stars

On our last night, after everyone had gone to sleep, we found Lonis’ two older brothers outside with their Luci light, playing UNO.

One last gift.

Before we left the community, we gifted the remaining lights to the women in the Adult Literacy Program. They had worked hard all week in a sewing workshop led by IAPW’s Kelsy Dominick. With Luci lights, they can sew in the evenings. Whether they’re sewing school uniforms or reusable sanitary pads, the income they generate from the sewing initiative will go to support the school and its students directly.

Thank you MPOWERD for your partnership in giving young people the tools they need to succeed. Our learners are so very appreciative of your support for their educational journey. You’ve empowered them, their families and the entire community.