PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — There’s something magical about the multitude of colorful and animated lights that are used to illuminate the holiday season. But what if your holiday and every day consisted of only one light? That’s how little Claude Louis grew up on the island of Haiti in the mountainous region of Qui Croit in the 1980s.
“Growing up without electricity; he used kerosene lanterns and candlelight to study,” said his wife Kristin Louis.
It was dangerous but lanterns and candles powered his educational path all the way to medical school. He’s now Dr. Claude Louis of Riverside Health. He returns home periodically to provide health care to the people of Qui Croit who still live without electricity. The Louis family hopes this Christmas, through their solar-powered lantern program, the people of Hampton Roads and beyond can help light the way for the next generation.
“This is the one that is about $16 and this one is about $28, and there’s another one that’s even smaller that’s about $10. My daughter’s preschool [has that sample]because they are doing a fundraiser for the lantern campaign. They’ve adopted that as their philanthropy project this year,” said Mrs. Louis, who hopes others will do the same.
10 On Your Side first told you about the charitable effort in October. Since then, conditions have only worsened. Violence, hunger, cholera, and gangs continue to grip a country that has suffered for decades.
Regina Mobley: So how can the people of Hampton Roads help?
“As people are thinking of ways to give gifts to the folks in their life who have everything already or who are sort of humanitarian-minded, this would be an excellent option,” said Mrs. Louis.
Dr. Louis hopes to deliver the lanterns to his home country next month.
“The more we buy, the less the cost per unit. So we are working to make sure we make a significant purchase in order to capitalize on the subsidized pricing from LuminAID,” Mrs. Louis said.