Pass It On Quote…..on Ambition….Elvis Presley

Ambition is a dream with a V8 engine. Elvis Presley
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Barefoot College!…By the Poor , For the Poor

Built by the poor, for the poor

For more than 40 years, The Barefoot College has designed new ways to nurture and support a journey to empowerment, one village at a time, one woman at a time. We demystify and decentralise technology and put new tools in the hands of the rural poor with a singular objective of spreading self-sufficiency and sustainability. With a geographic focus on the Least Developed Countries, we train women worldwide as solar engineers, innovators and educators, who then return to their villages to bring light and learning to their community.

Barefoot Today

The Barefoot College operates in 1,300 villages in 80 countries worldwide. The impact of direct training and services ripples out to impact about two million people, giving communities access to clean water and safe, reliable energy. We’ve taken a humble, inspiring 40-year journey to learn and share the value of rural wisdom. This is the story of how Barefoot came to be.

July 3, 1972

Barefoot Begins

As a young post graduate student, Sanjit “Bunker” Roy, volunteers to live and work in one of India’s poorest states. Roy becomes friends with Merghaj, a farmer from the small village of Tilonia, Rajasthan. The two share a dream of grafting formal urban knowledge on rural wisdom to create a world without want. They temporarily lease an abandoned tuberculosis sanatorium from the Government for one Rupee a month in Tilonia.

January 1975

First Craft Bazaar

The first craft bazaar is held, at a time when few craft workers from the villages went to urban centres. It spawns a whole series of such efforts like Craft Fairs, Dastakar and many others.

November 1, 1980 — December 15, 1985

Construction of Barefoot College

After acquiring eight acres of land in 1977, the Tilonia community builds the college facilities over a five year period. The Barefoot College is the first, fully solar electrified campus located in rural India.

November 16, 1989

Harnessing the Sun

The Barefoot College begins using the sun’s energy for solar electrification, hot water, solar cookers and fresh drinking water through solar powered desalination. The use of kerosene lamps on campus is no longer needed and the beginnings of the solar engineering program is developed.

December 1, 1997

First trained Barefoot solar engineer

Kamala Devi, 1997 – Despite opposition from her village, Kamala would finish her household chores in the morning, travel to the solar workshop at Beenjerwada. Then, after a tiring day, she would take time to teach children at the night school. She is now head of the manufacturing, repairing and training unit of solar energy equipment at Kadampura, an expanded centre of The Barefoot College.

2006

A grand experiment of expansion

The Barefoot College visits Tombouctou, on the Niger river, for the first time. It launches an experiment to provide solar power to select remote rural villages who have no hope of being connected to a conventional grid.

2013

Clinton Global Initiative Honor

Bunker Roy is honored with Clinton Global Service Award in 2013. In response, the Indian government authorises $2.5 million for Barefoot to launch five regional training centres in Sub-Saharan Africa.

2014

Zanzibar Opens

International expansion to Africa begins with the opening of the first of five regional training centres, modeled on the Approach and Solutions of The Barefoot College in Tilonia.

2016

Latin America

Expansion plans for Guatemala, the first regional centre in Latin America, underway with a 2018 completion date.

August 22, 2016

Launching Pacific Solar Initiative

A program that will affect more than 15,000 lives across the 14 Pacific Island Countries is aimed at creating Solar Engineers to install and maintain solar systems and further enabling them to become professional solar trainers. bit.ly/PacificInitiative

2018

Strategic Goals

Our goal is to triple the number of beneficiaries touched by The Barefoot College and its international programs by 2018. You can help: Donate

Barefoot Begins
July 3, 1972

Timeline JS

Barefoot Begins

First Craft Bazaar

Construction of Barefoot College

Harnessing the Sun

First trained Barefoot solar engineer

A grand experiment of expansion

Clinton Global Initiative Honor

Zanzibar Opens

Latin America

Launching Pacific Solar Initiative

Strategic Goals

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