It has been almost six years since the first All-Lights Village was opened in the Philippines, a project spearheaded by the Global Peace Foundation Korea. It has expanded to over 50 villages in countries around the world.

With proven track records for improved literacy and growing economic and social activity in most villages, the project continues to grow and develop to include local cooperatives and long-term economic development initiatives.

It’s nice to go back to the origins of the project to see what sparked the movement to bring “light to the dark places of the world.”

David Yoo is now executive director of the Love in Lights foundation, which continues to seek out partners and donors to provide light and other basic services to developing regions throughout Southeast Asia. In 2010 he was serving as president of Global Peace Foundation Korea.

That year, he visited Kenya for the Global Peace Convention. During his trip, he visited Kairobangi, a slum on the outskirts of Nairobi, Kenya’s capitol. Even so near to the capitol, the settlement is off-the grid, light mainly by kerosene after the sun goes down at 7pm. It was in the dark streets of Kariobangi that David Yoo saw a young girl picking her way through the street. He thought, “What if my sister was in that situation?” It was a moment fed by the virtues taught in the Korean traditional extended family model, that everyone is interconnected and responsible for each other.

That experience, connected to a number of other events, became the impetus behind the All-Lights Village project, providing education, safety and opportunity to the extended human family, and urging Koreans to find new ways to benefit humanity.

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