Lucie Argelies first came to Tilonia during a train journey through India designed to train and inspire a generation of social entrepreneurs. The native of France felt in some ways that she was coming home when she arrived at The Barefoot College campus.
“I was so impressed and aligned with the values, mission and vision of the organisation I decided I will do anything I can to come back and learn, un-learn and contribute,” Lucie says.
And so she did, first as a volunteer and now as the Head of Enriche, an education programme that trains and empowers women with an arsenal of professional and personal skills.
The Barefoot College created its Enriche Curriculum to support women’s aspiration in transforming themselves and their communities beyond solar electrification. It’s an added value to the established solar engineer training programme that provides graduates with the unique opportunity to gain essential skills and knowledge and develop their sense of agency.
Lucie spent the past six months in Zanzibar leading Barefoot’s first African-based pilot project with the first batch of solar mamas. She remains inspired by her connection with the programme’s participants, she says. The admiration is mutual.
“We want to work in unity with others so that we can expand and impact the community at large.” Mkisiri Hassan Faki said of the programme.
Enriche offers comprehensive training in things like basic technological skills, women’s reproductive health, environmental stewardship and occupational skills.
The programme’s founders say it is digital, viral and co-created. These three aspects are the foundation of the programme’s unique impact and success.
- Digital: Technological tools are developed for specific use among semi-literate and illiterate learners from various regions of the country.
- Viral: Each woman trained becomes a trainer, actively participating in the ongoing knowledge transfer to others.
- Co-Created: Enriche is developed and delivered in partnerships with local social enterprises and NGOs.
As Barefoot has expanded its international mission to Africa, Latin America and the Pacific islands, Enriche becomes a vital tool for empowerment that stems from a deep connection to each local region. The appropriate livelihood activities taught are selected using participatory methods and a SWOT analysis.
“This is an opportunity to gain more skills to help our family and our communities.” Siti Haji Simai said.
Contact us to learn more about Enriche. We invite you to become an ongoing part of the Barefoot family. Sign up for our newsletters and be sure to visit our donation page to help sponsor a new Barefoot Enriche participant in obtaining these life-changing, community-empowering skills.