Visitors often come to Barefoot College to see what we do for themselves. They come to meet the heroic women who we proudly call Solar Mamas.
And almost always, they tell us, they feel inspired by their visit. Our connection grows stronger rippling outward in both seen and unseen ways of impact. We never know what may come when a visitor makes the trek to the campus in Rajasthan.
Our own Rodrigo Paris, director of Barefoot College in Latin America, first came to Barefoot as a volunteer–a journalist and diplomat thinking about what he wanted to do with his life. He’s now helping women in 19 countries bring solar power and opportunity while rising out of rural poverty.
Many other connections–too many to list here–began with a first visit to the campus.
Recently, we were visited by Kyla Taylor, an associate lawyer for Hogan Lovells based in London. She came with questions from girls in school ages 14-18 who participate in the Barefoot Futures program. These girls made solar powered cars to better understand the work our Solar Mamas do. They learned about the sacrifices these women make to electrify their villages and improve their lives.
Kyla brought questions from the students and asked many of our Solar Mamas. She then gave the answers to the students when she returned to deepen their knowledge about our work and empathy for people living in a far off, very different place.
Only time will tell what these connections may someday bring.
A compelling aspect of our three-year partnership with Hogan Lovells is the ties we make. Some partners in the firm have visited, like Patrick Sherrington who told of the transforming experience last year.
Hogan Lovells, like us here at Barefoot College, have people working all the around the world. We work in very different places and very different ways, but in the end, it’s what we have in common that rises above all.
Regan Leahy, assistant manager of Citizenship who works on the fundraising effort for the Barefoot/Hogan Lovells partnership, also made the trek here to Barefoot College.
“It was an absolutely incredible experience. To actually be there and see the Solar Mamas, was very humbling. I felt like I was meeting someone very famous, who knew so much more than I did and had experienced so much more of the world that I had before.”
No matter where we live or what our lives our like, we have far more in common than we have different. It’s these ties that make every connection so deeply meaningful.
“We’re all trying to strive to for the same world,” Leahy says. “We have the same goals at heart. That’s what struck me seeing these women for myself at Barefoot. They, too, are working for the world they want.”