FIRST LIGHT PROJECT STORY
Resilient and sustainable food, water, and energy solutions
In August 2012 Lois Davidson met Charlie Szoradi, CEO of Independence LED at the Upper Main Line Rotary Chapter. She presented a solar energy project for Sulayman Junkung General Hospital located in a remote location in The Gambia. The new solar installation allowed the hospital to effectively operate upgraded electrical systems, but the existing incandescent and fluorescent lighting depleted a significant amount of electricity from the solar system. That introduction and the ensuing conversations with Charlie Szoradi led to Independence LED’s donation of LED lamps and drivers that led to significantly improved performance of the hospitals electrical usage.
From this fortuitous exchange came the idea to expand the concept of First Light Project with a goal to provide high quality LED lighting to those who need it most.
Within 2 years First Light Project secured their their 501(c)(3) nonprofit status and embarked on projects of their own. With support from Independence LED and other sustainable industry programs, along with the dedication of Executive Director Lois Davidson and the Board, First Light Project has been able to provide energy efficient LED lighting to hospitals, clinics and schools throughout under-served areas of the world.
Projects have included: 3 clinics and 1 hospital in The Gambia, Africa(Power Up Gambia), Clinic and its addition in Honduras(Serving at the Crossroads), CVIM in West Chester, PA(Community Volunteers in Medicine), a charter school in Philadelphia, PA and our LED Tubes are even on Mt. Annapurna, Himalayas at a Medical Tent on one of the summit.
First Light Project’s mission then, as now, was to provide sustainable solutions using current technology to improve the lives of people in under-served areas of the world. First Light Project’s work locally and abroad highlighted to the organization the need to integrate technology solutions into the broader context of community well-being. Now we are moving forward in our ever-changing world by re-focusing our mission and vision to include food and water insecurity.
We thank those who supported and guided First Light Project through its crucial early years, we are excited to refocus our energy and resources on our expanded mission and vision.
Our mission is to provide resilient and sustainable food, water and energy solutions to under-served communities and communities at risk.
Growing Food as a Lever for Community Change
We see that growing food can have a positive impact on the environmental, social, and economic well-being and is a simple, yet powerful way for residents to rebuild the fabric of existing neighborhoods and communities.