We are delighted to share the news of our recent partnership with Mite, a global organisation dedicated to spreading the joy of giving worldwide.

Through this partnership, Mite is supporting Barefoot College International to put the power back into the hands of rural women, and support those who have been most marginalised.

We caught up with Milenita, Mite’s Project Director, to hear more about why they want to support Barefoot College International and what makes them so passionate about our work together.

How does working with Barefoot College International fit with your company’s mission and vision? 

At Mite we connect givers with worthy causes, helping fund the missions of trusted nonprofits doing incredible charity work across the globe. Barefoot College International conducts holistic and sustainable programs that impact and change one woman’s life at first, her family’s life second, and ultimately an entire community. That’s the ripple effect that eMite strives to achieve through its mission. 

What made Mite want to partner with BCI? 

Barefoot College International was recommended to us by a donor and after further research, our team was impressed by its innovative and sustainable approach. 

Through its programs, BCI trusts every woman’s potential, no matter her educational background. It proves that when given the opportunity, right tools and knowledge, individuals will acquire a high level of expertise in different sectors of activities. Ultimately this will directly impact girl’s and women’s livelihoods, enabling them to be a catalyst for change to their family and entire community. 

Mite Barefoot College International women solar

What influenced your decision to partner on this project specifically? 

Mainly because of its innovative approach, this project specifically provides tools to illiterate and semi-illiterate women in poor rural areas. They allow these women to transform not only their lives but their entire communities. They become self-sufficient solar engineers, and at the same time, they are trained to create small businesses. There is also an environmental side of the project that drew our attention which is the reduction in fossil fuel (e.g.kerosene and candle use) usage provided by stable access to clean power. This brings many positive externalities like the increase in savings in households.

Ultimately we know that one of the main problems in rural poor communities is the lack of time brought about by no electricity. Inhabitants of these communities rely on daylight hours for productive activities, otherwise they are only subsisting. Having access to electricity also increases leadership and opportunities for women.

How are you hoping the project will impact rural communities in Latin America? 

We had the opportunity of visiting BCI’s Regional Center in Tanzania, and have seen for ourselves how their holistic programs have impacted the region. It is indeed proven to be working in Eastern Africa, so we believe that BCI’s project will have a huge impact on rural communities in Latin America as well.

The fact that BCI programs focus on livelihood development, guarantees that trained women through the solar program in Guatemala will not only have the tools but will also be accompanied throughout the process of becoming self-sufficient and growing sustainably over time. This is already happening with the Guatemalan indigenous Ixil communities who were trained by BCI in the sustainable farming of coffee and assisted in accessing urban supply chains to sell their product at a fair price. 

Mite women Barefoot College International

What are your long-term goals for the partnership? 

After conducting a thorough vetting process, and once we decide to partner with an organization we seek to engage in a longstanding partnership and support sustainable projects.

Since we are stewards of our giving community’s donations, we pay particular attention to the project’s progress history and final success. If everything goes according to both parties’ expectations, and the project reaches its goal, then Mite usually decides to partner again in different projects for the upcoming years. 

What are you most looking forward to through this work between Barefoot College International and Mite?

Mite is looking to expand its impact throughout the world. We would like to support regions equally to the extent possible, and Latin America is a region that we haven’t reached out to quite yet. We esteemed that BCI was doing great work globally and we decided to partner with them to reach more and more communities together.

Most importantly we are looking forward to being part of a sustainable and scalable project that will provide the much-needed skills and technical accompaniment to several groups of women in rural areas. 

Overall we are looking forward to highlighting what BCI is doing along with telling the stories of these brilliant women that will be the change for their communities.

Mite Barefoot College women Latin America

If you would like to partner with Barefoot College International, please email Sue.Stevenson@barefootcollege.org