The Barefoot College, Tilonia, Rajasthan, is an NGO that provides basic services and solutions to problems in rural areas – and has been, sustainable and effective for more than 40 years. “Barefoot” solutions look like this: delivery of education for all, supply of solar lamps, providing clean water, help to livelihood and mobilization of the population. With a geographical focus on the least developed regions of India, the Barefoot College believes strongly in the ability (empowerment) of women as agents of sustainable change.
Herding goats, looking after their younger siblings or helping the parents to earn money – this is a child’s daily life in remote areas of Rajasthan, India.
Their future is mapped out: working as a child, as a youth accepting smaller jobs, as an adult barely feeding the family; so poverty is carried from generation to generation. A never-ending spiral of poverty – especially for women and girls.
This is where the Barefoot College steps in. It is committed to help where the public school system does not work and allows children a comprehensive basic education.
The solar bridge schools are located directly in the villages where the children live and work. There are already 58 solar bridge schools. 1300 children, mostly girls, receive evening education.
With your support you finance a solar bridge school for a full year.
The children learn not only reading, writing and arithmetics, but to deal with important everyday things: how does mail work, what do you do at the bank and how do you herd goats.
The children are medically examined regularly; they also receive important basic knowledge on health issues (e.g. the importance of clean drinking water and sanitation).
Also very important is that a Children’s Parliament is established, important questions of everyday life are discussed and they control the solar bridge schools. In this way, they will receive a basic democratic education.
The pupils of the solar bridge schools, their families and communities are directly involved in the management of schools. This is how the monitoring of schools works locally – a 360 degree view!