Portable Light

Empower People.

The Portable Light Project enables people in the developing world to create and own energy harvesting textiles, providing the benefits of renewable power as an integral part of everyday life.

Learn More

Conducting an interview.
Photo credit: Maison de la Naissance staff.


In Haiti, maternal and infant mortality rates are the highest in the western hemisphere and among the highest in the world. In the more sparely populated inland backcountry regions of the country without electricity or running water, NGO Maison de Naissance has instituted a network of traveling midwives to provide life saving prenatal, birthing assistance and medical care to women and their families. The women use wireless connectivity to stay in touch with one another and exchange medical information with the clinic.

The Portable Light FLAP bag (Flexible Light and Power) is a solar textile kit in a rugged messenger bag designed by the PL team and created in collaboration with Timbuk2 and the PopTech network. Slung across the back, the FLAP bag generates energy with a compact flexible solar panel. The messenger bag’s front flap is detachable, and folds to transforms itself into a standing reflective lantern with a high brightness LED. After the devastation of the earthquake in 2010, the travelling nurses of the Maison de la Naissance became a key link to medical care for many rural women and their families. The PL FLAP bag was proposed for the travelling nurses to hold medical equipment and provide light for medical care at night. FLAP bags in country responded to the needs of regular ‘house call’ visits and emergency medical procedures at night. The USB 2.0 throughput charges medical devices and cell phones that connect the Maison de la Naissance’s nurses to the clinic at all times to access medical records and receive diagnostic support from physicians.


Travelling Midwife
Download PDF