Originally published on EdenKeeper.org.
With a population of about 700 people, the village of Sone in West Timor, Indonesia, is famous throughout the region for its production of beautiful, traditional fabrics. Located close to a mountain summit, Sone is completely off the electricity grid. With the hope of learning about the challenges of living in areas that have no electricity, Panasonic Corporation’s “Cut Out the Darkness” project is delivering solar lanterns with beautiful cut-out lantern shades designed by people from all around the world. The designs chosen for production of the shades were chosen by popular votes taken online from among the many artistic wildlife submissions.
Although famous for their lovely hand-woven fabrics, the village women are exposed to health risks for their great dedication to their labor. Often working at their looms late into the night by the light of kerosene lamps, the smoke is dangerous to everyone’s health and the dim, inefficient light causes eye strains. Now, the newly donated solar lanterns can be charged by sunlight during the day for use at night, and likewise reduce the dangerous and ever-present threat of house fires from the kerosene flame.