Solar Lantern Workshop a Bright Success

This May saw the fourth annual SDG Festival of Action in Bonn, Germany, and to participate some of our Barefoot team members coordinated with our long-standing partners Hogan Lovells to host a Workshop on-site about Solar Lanterns. Over 50 attendees watched Solar Master Trainer Lila Devi of Tilonia, Rajasthan, give an introductory course on how Solar Lanterns are assembled.

Our Solar Lantern booth team, including Hogan Lovells and Barefoot staff

How Capable are Women?

Our primary mission was to present participants with the sophisticated comprehension of Solar Lantern construction that our Solar Mamas and trainers possess once they’ve completed our unique Solar Engineer Training program. How can illiterate, undereducated middle-aged women from the Global South achieve such intellectual aptitude in a mere 6 months?

Maybe we’ve been overlooking rural women’s capabilities.
Maybe latent potential will not deteriorate just because she is not given the opportunity to shine with all of her inherent brilliance and creative endowment. That’s exactly our message- all women can be supported in their harnessing of valuable traditions and attributes. We argue that everyone contains Adaptive Intelligence, which allows rural women to become formally educated at any age. They then amplify their contributions by using their own specialized ingenuity based on case-sensitive needs and situations.

The Solar Lanterns we distribute are helping last-mile villages become illuminated- even in the darkest corners of the world

These such attributes are pivotal elements that the Mamas utilize once they’ve graduated from their training and return to their respective villages. Each community faces particular challenges that Solar Mamas have demonstrated hold them back from their missions as minimally as an obstacle such as having no prior education would have. We, therefore, identify rural women as the key to unlocking solutions for all members of society.

Partnerships are a Pivotal Asset for the Future

Joining us from Hogan Lovells was Regan Leahy, Sabine Reimann and Gill McGreevy, who came to speak about the value of members from the private sector collaborating with organizations that hold sustainability at the core of their operations.

Attendees learn the workings of our Solar Lanterns during the workshop

During a panel discussion that included Lila, Bata, Gill and Regan as moderator, Gill explained that through these shared-value partnerships, together the global SDG goals can be achieved. Such endeavours bring mutual benefit to all parties and are an obvious way forward for the private sector to engage with the SDGs and address Climate Change responsibly.

[I learned that] sustainable cooperation with the private sector can accelerate social transformation.” – Response from a workshop attendee

Lila and Bata ji spoke during the panel about their experiences at Barefoot, and how the organization has enriched their lives and the lives of their families. They explained that previous to working at Barefoot, they had many day-to-day struggles which Barefoot slowly helped them overcome, offering them security and hope for the future. The College has helped them and many other women to feel empowered, transforming communities into more open-minded, safe places for everyone.

The panel discussion (left to right) featuring Regan Leahy, Bata ji, Lila Devi and Gill McGreevy

See the Workshop for Yourself!

To see some of the highlights of the lantern workshop, watch the video below, where Lila Devi shows her audience what’s involved in the process to establish clean sources of energy in even the remotest of regions. (Circuit boards, with all their components, were soldered by Lila ji in Tilonia before arriving to Bonn)

Highlights from the Solar Lantern Workshop led by Lila Devi

We’re confident that partnerships with the private sector will help us propagate in manifold ways, to achieve better regenerative practises, to empower women worldwide and to lift entire communities out of multigenerational poverty. Collective action paired with the inherent ability to harness Adaptive Intelligence will direct the planet into a greener, brighter future.