Back to stories Lighting Up Lives
Location Philippines, projects in more than 25 countries
Year / Category 2015 / Non-Profit Organisations
Impact Reached 752,000 households, lighted up hundreds of streets


Myrna Gayoso is an expert in assembling small solar PV lighting systems that are positively impacting lives across the Philippines and around the world. It’s a skill she says she couldn’t have imagined as child and one that she learned as an inmate at the Correctional Institute for Women near Manila.

She was one of the first women in the facility to be trained by the non-profit organisation, Liter of Light in the technique that uses recycled plastic bottles, small solar panels and simple electronics to create ‘light bottles’ for homes and streetlights. While at the correctional institute, Myrna not only learned a valuable skill, but also earned income as part of the programme run by the Philippines-headquartered organisation.

After her release following a government pardon, Myrna joined Liter of Light full time and is today responsible for training new suppliers, overseeing the supplier network and managing inventory.

Over the years, she’s helped develop training materials used to teach other women how to make the lights and has helped make lights given to communities devastated by Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda).

“What motivates and inspires me on difficult days are my memories working with Liter of Light. Even though I can’t give money to the poor or needy, I can still help them by making solar lights for those that otherwise have no electricity.”

She can hardly believe the turn her life has taken: “I’m so happy that having been an inmate is no hindrance to my helping people as part of an organisation with such wonderful goals that are being felt throughout the world.”