Solar mamas of Barefoot College
Barefoot College was on my radar for 9 years but it took a 3-day working weekend to finally understand what makes this organization so special. After seeing this documentary, a diehard “text, not video” guy like me can honestly admit the medium does great justice to this narrative.
Reproducing the organization blurb directly from skoll.org:
Barefoot College is a ‘not for profit’, hybrid Social Enterprise, providing development solutions to the challenges facing rural poor communities for more than 45 years, with the objective of making them self-sufficient and sustainable; valuing and respecting the knowledge and wisdom the rural poor already possess. One of few Indian-based nonprofits’ whose programs have been expanded and exported throughout the developing world, today Barefoot College operates in 93 countries & 15 states in India.
These ‘Barefoot solutions’ are broadly categorized into delivery by and through rural women of Access to Renewable Energy, Education, Women’s Economic & Digital Participation, Women’s Wellness, and Water Management. Barefoot College is committed to empowering women as change agents, entrepreneurs, environmental stewards and leaders in their communities. The organization believes that placing women at the heart of the development and design process is the most reliable and effective way to pass on the wisdom, knowledge, and skills that all rural poor communities already possess, and which are so often undervalued and under-utilized.
Barefoot College engages in building confidence and competence in individuals and entire communities through a partnership model, bringing about large-scale shifts in values and sustainable quality of life enhancement. The college is known for its ability to bring about systems change and policy change through innovative partnerships with governments, private sector & philanthropy.