All over the world the rural poor walk Barefoot. It is a symbol that we elevate to bring attention to the focus of everything we do. The College believes that for any rural development activity to be successful and sustainable, it must be based in the village as well as managed and owned by those whom it serves.
Therefore, all Barefoot initiatives whether social, political or economic, are planned and implemented by a network of rural men and women who are known as ‘Barefoot Professionals’.
Because it is a Centre for learning, with a difference:-
- A centre of learning and unlearning
- Where the teacher is the learner and the learner a teacher;
- Where everyone is expected to keep an open mind, try new and crazy ideas, make mistakes and try again;
- Where even those who have no degrees are welcome to come, work and learn;
- Where those are accepted who are not eligible for even the lowest government jobs;
- Where tremendous value is placed on the dignity of labour, of sharing and those are willing to work with their hands;
- Where no certificates, degrees or diplomas are given.
The ‘Barefoot approach’ may be viewed as a ‘concept’, ‘solution’, ‘revolution’, ‘design’ or an ‘inspiration’ but it is really a simple message that can easily be replicated by the poor and for the poor in neglected and underprivileged communities anywhere the world.