We are known best for training women from all over the world to become solar engineers for their villages. We train them despite language barriers and limited literacy. These women are empowered to become entrepreneurs, leaders and advocates when they return, all of which contributes to the 2015 UN Sustainability Goals Number One Priority: No Poverty.
But despite this remarkable program and the heroic effort of our solar mamas, this story only tells a part of the Barefoot Solution to sustainability. In fact, our programs in water, education, professions, advocacy and, of course, solar, do more than help villages to rise out of poverty. In all, we are offering solutions for a whopping 14 of the 17 UN Sustainability Goals (Link to solutions page).
Our partnerships run deep. We have nearly 90 partner organizations in more than 70 countries. The Barefoot Approach develops local NGOs and Social enterprises in every project, to provide a holistic approach to sustainable living that improves the environment, combats climate change and honors the wealth of skills and knowledge at the village level.
“I often read about new for-profit products designed to help developing countries with energy or conservation,” says Barefoot College CEO Meagan Fallone. “But I know our systems are proven, efficient, cost-effective and more sustainable. We have self funded our own R&D and manufacturing. We self fund community mobilization. We develop partnerships that last as we take the Barefoot College Model to countries in Latin America, Africa and the Pacific Islands. We help community leverage their light for income and livelihood development.”
The brunt of poverty falls hardest on those who are the most vulnerable. Time and again in our forty-year history we have seen the oppressive obstacles facing women and children seeking to improve their lives. As the world turns its attention to poverty alleviation, women and children not only have the most to gain but the most to contribute to the end result. Barefoot College Solar Engineers become advocates, leaders, educators, entrepreneurs and conduits for poverty alleviation throughout their villages.
Women are the solution and our ongoing efforts to train and empower women is advancing our work wherever poverty exists.
To learn more about this tested approach to sustainability, steeped in an unwavering Gandhian philosophy, download our White Paper here. After reading about our approach, we invite corporate partners, NGOs and philanthropic friends to connect with us to learn who we can bring the Barefoot Approach wherever poverty exists.