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Barefoot “Solar Mamas” switch on rural communities… And that’s not just about light!

Enriche provides an opportunity for women to fulfill their aspiration and build thriving, resilient and sustainable rural communities.

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*Please Upload User Experience Map (as attachment) and any additional Beneficiary Feedback in this field

Feedback from the rural women led to a change in the ENGAGE strategy related to the time period and duration for which the workshops could be held in the villages. We have found that workshop dissemination would have to be customized even within an area of a few kilometers. The feedback session with the community leaders and ground partners from various villages helped us to identify key problems which need to be prioritized in the respective communities.

Explain your project idea in two sentences.

Enriche provides rural women from the most remote areas the opportunity to gain confidence, practical knowledge and skills that are relevant to their aspirations and gain control over their own lives.

What is your organization name? Explain your organization in one sentence.

The Barefoot College build more sustainable, self-sufficient and resilient rural communities.

Is this project idea new for you or your organization? If no, how much have you already executed on?

The Enriche initiative was born less than two years ago. The program has evolved with time and we are at different phase of execution on Enriche 4 building blocks: +1 year delivery for ENHANCE and ENABLE (Awareness & Livelihood), design phase of ENGAGE (Community Outreach), & discovery for EMPOWER.

What is the problem you aim to solve with this idea? How would you define this problem as urgent and a priority in your target community?

We are enabling women from rural remote communities to find solutions to their problems! We do not know of anything more urgent than that. Women are the most efficient yet underserved and underestimated agents of sustainable change! Closing gender gaps would add $28 trillion to annual GDP in 2025.

What is the timeline for your project idea? What are the key steps for implementation in the next 1-3 years?

ENHANCE- Development of standardized toolkit and resource box for facilitators that can be utilized in regional training centers. 6 months to 1.5 years. ENABLE- Develop robust, self sustainable social enterprise model, value chains and digitized training curriculum. Time frame: 1 to 2 years. ENGAGE- Develop Peer to Peer Facilitator tool kits, community engagement partnerships, implementation strategies and funding models. 1 to 2 years. EMPOWER: Learning from the ground & partners. 2-3 years

Describe the individual or team that will implement this idea (if a partnership, please explain breakdown of responsibility).

The Enriche team works collectively in the formulating the strategy, designing and implementing of the program. The program is unfolding along different timelines in our training centers, thereby allowing us to apply the learnings from one place to another (see team presentation attached).

What do you need the most support with in this project idea?

  • Program/Product/Service Design

What is your primary goal over the next 6 weeks of Refinement?

  • Iterate or improve on my product/service

How do you currently measure (or plan to measure) results for this project?

We are designing a comprehensive M&E program that would be implemented at feasible points during the period of one to three years (Baseline before implementation, Monitoring +6 months, Evaluation +2-3 years). This will be layered up on Barefoot College digital M&E platform. Individual questionnaires would be used to assess both qualitative and quantitative impact. Efforts would be put to bring out stories of both individual and community led empowerment.

How has your project proposal changed due to your user research during the Beneficiary Feedback Phase?

Created a new framework based on the user Journey: 4 building blocks: ENHANCE, ENABLE, ENGAGE, EMPOWER. Feedback from the rural women led to a change in the ENGAGE strategy related to the time period and duration for which the workshops could be held in the villages. We have found that workshop dissemination would have to be customized even within an area of a few kilometers.

During this Improve Phase, please use the space below to add any additional information to your proposal.

Note that you may also edit any of your previous answers within the proposal. Here is a great place to note any big final changes or iterations you have made to your proposal below:

The IDEO Challenge allowed us to rethink our program in term of four building blocks: ENHANCE, ENABLE, ENGAGE and EMPOWER. These provide an overall path to a rural women’s empowerment journey with support from established partner NGOs on the ground.


We believe every woman should be strong, safe, self-reliant, healthy, heard, respected, resilient, courageous and equal. No exceptions!


The Enriche program invests in women to help them reach their full potential, fulfill their aspirations and transform their communities via economic, social and environmental impact.

Explain your idea

Enriche aims to provide rural women with the opportunity to gain confidence, practical knowledge and skills that are relevant to their life and priorities. We believe that addressing the underlying structural and social barriers to women empowerment can only be achieved using a holistic participatory approach. Program evolution via feedback from rural women has led to creation of 4 building blocks: ENHANCE, ENABLE, ENGAGE and EMPOWER, along with Social Enterprises. Complementing our solar training program, ENHANCE is an awareness, confidence and skills building journey, offering participants an opportunity to (un)learn, reflect and envision their empowerment journey through group participatory workshops, across 7 key areas of knowledge: Women’s Health, Financial Inclusion, Human, Legal and Civil Rights, Micro-enterprise, Self-Awareness, Aspiration & Agency, Digital Literacy and Environmental Stewardship. ENABLE trains the solar trainees in selected livelihood skills relevant to local resources and market, and offers transfer of assets as ‘in-kind’ seed capital. We ENGAGE with our solar electrified and other rural communities via ground partners (NGOs and CBOs) to address social norms and community challenges in their areas. Previously trained solar engineers are encouraged to share their skills and knowledge in their communities, and seek out the knowledge and tools needed to achieve their aspirations, thereby becoming agents of sustainable change in their own communities. EMPOWER will further support women in becoming self-reliant and resilient entrepreneurs via access to Financial Services, and Mentoring & Market Linkages. Enriche brings to surface the needs and aspirations of the rural women and creates ENHANCE and ENGAGE workshop content customized to support them in addressing their challenges. A structured workshop schedule forms the basis of an implementation approach comprising of interactive discussions, activities and peer to peer learning. The workshops are designed to ensure there is no lecture and no teacher. Discussions are based on factual information provided by the facilitator and participants are given the opportunity to start a critical thought process by sharing their own thoughts, beliefs and stories. Role plays, images and videos are utilized to address topics such as gender equality, savings, banking, etc. An integral part of the program relates to demystification of knowledge such that it is readily translated into practical skills, such as making Oral Rehydration Solutions, reusable sanitary napkins, efficient stoves, composting, etc. We believe that addressing the community aspirations in such an overarching manner, directly through the community members is key to long lasting impact.

Who Benefits?

Women from the world’s most remote and marginalised communities are our direct beneficiaries. Women are the most powerful yet under-served agents of sustainable change. We have been a privileged witness to rural women’s aspirations and relentless effort to nurture and strengthen their communities, while preserving traditional wisdom, values and knowledge. This benefit isn’t limited to rural women: Indigenous people live in symbiosis with 80% of the planet natural environment. Their dependence on their immediate environment for survival and subsistence makes these communities vulnerable to depletion of natural resources and Climate Change effects, which in turn increase economic poverty, migration and conflicts. Providing these communities the opportunity to become self-reliant is the cornerstone to create a socially just, environmentally sustainable and harmonious world. The only way to create a Prosperous and Peaceful Planet. We are yet to find someone who wouldn’t benefit!

How is your idea unique?

Being a rural community ourselves, we understand there is NO silver bullet solution to create sustainable change at the grassroots level: only holistic, participatory and community led change can create lasting impact. The Enriche program,tailored to the aspirations of rural communities, is based on the interconnected needs of each woman it serves. Capacity building of mature local women who are fully vested in the community; continual ground support from partner ngos working for years in those areas; and eventual community inclusion and mobilization create a robust program towards sustainable change. Furthermore, partner ngos and local women having brought light to the villages are seen as ‘change-makers’ and therefore more accepted when working towards holistic development.Additionally, Enriche is unique as it is one of the only curriculum specifically designed for the non and semi-literate audience, using visual, audio, video and digital content developed in local languages.

Idea Proposal Stage

  • Piloting: I have started to implement my solution as a whole with a first set of real users.

Tell us more about you

Barefoot College is a not for profit, grassroots, Social Enterprise, that has been providing basic services and solutions to the challenges facing rural poor communities for more than 40 years, with the objective of making them self-sufficient and sustainable, valuing and respecting the knowledge and wisdom they already possess. The College was founded in India in 1972 by Sanjit “Bunker” Roy, following the lifestyle and work style of Mahatma Gandhi. Is has today grown into an exceptional example of a decentralized management philosophy and capacity building from within, to deliver what has become known widely around the world, as the Barefoot Approach to community development. These ‘Barefoot solutions’ can be broadly categorised into the delivery of Solar Electrification, Clean Water, Education and Livelihood Development. For 44 years, the college has been committed to support Women as change agents, entrepreneurs and environmental stewards. Believing that placing women at the heart of a development process which builds confidence and competence in entire communities through a partnership model is the most reliable and effective way to bring about large-scale shifts in values and sustainable quality of life enhancement. Our Solar Engineering flagship program was implemented in more than 80 countries in collaboration with local NGOs and CBOs. We are now scaling up rapidly through South-South Cooperation and People-Public-Private partnerships. The Enriche Team comprises of highly educated professionals from all corners of the world working side-by-side with the semi literate and non formally educated locals, ensuring that rural wisdom and latest innovations is at the heart of our solution. Our passion for unlearning and relearning and dedication to serve is our most valued common denominator. The way to get to know us better is to come and visit! But beware, you might decide to join our community! Most of us are based in Rajasthan, India and in Zanzibar, Tanzania. The rest of the team are globe trotters traveling to meet our rural communities and partners, and pollinating ideas and solutions. We collaborate with local ground partners, NGOs and CBOs, who all work closely with rural communities. We train them on the approach and provide them all resources, and they guide us to adapt our curriculum and programs to the regional specificities and ensure quality implementation of the program and M&E.

Expertise in sector

  • 7+ years

Organization Filing Status

  • Yes, we are a registered non-profit.
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Team (3)

Lucie's profile
Anu's profile
Anu Jain

Role added on team:

"Abandoned the corporate world…. To savor community life! Playgrounds: India, US and all places in between. Responsibilities: Establish a team along with a network of partner organizations. Monitor impact and strategize to continually improve and expand the program’s role in supporting changemakers. Special talents: Designing workshops, story telling, nurturing and taking care of the whole team! Something to share: https://goo.gl/acOiDm"

Monalisa's profile
Monalisa Padhee

Role added on team:

"Lab rat turned into a community health professional. Playgrounds: Rural India and beyond. Themes I care about: Women empowerment through health. Responsibilities: Enriche health workshops facilitation, region specific curriculum design, guidelines for replication, procurement of resource material for outreach and documentation. Special talents: Writing articles and research papers, dancing and inventing healthy tasty recipes. Something to share: https://monalisapadhee.wordpress.com/"

17 comments

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Photo of melissacole
Team

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Team

We'll reach out to your R&D department in the next 2 weeks to schedule a time to talk. Thanks! Anne

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Team

Hi Lucie and Team! We’re excited to share with you feedback and questions from our expert reviewers. We encourage you to think about this feedback as you continue to improve and refine your idea. You are welcome to respond in the comments section and/or to incorporate feedback into the text of your idea. Your idea and all associated comments will all be reviewed during the final review process.

Based on expert career, previous work and field experience, is this a new approach or bold way of answering the challenge question:
• It's a clear need and a practical way to address it. I am excited about the targeted nature of the program and the skill building and capacity building approach.
• Some concerns from similar programs (education women in rural communities): How is the training conducted for non-literate women, women who speak dialects, and how will home support be provided. Is there childcare on site? Can you consider bringing in teams/cohorts of women from villages so there will be support back in the villages when they return- people who understand the paradigm shift. Also think about home support for them and their families when they are gone? (cooking, cleaning, supporting house hold responsibilities?)

Desirability and Viability of proposal:
• Desirable for sure! I think operationally there are some challenges that will be addressable. Responsive adjustments and considerations for what the "returning" home will look like is crucial.
• Viable- I think the "after" is the tough part, ensuring that women have continued, easily accessible and supportive communities to rely on will be important.

Feasibility of proposal (is this an idea that could be brought to life?):
• I'd support it bing brought to life- I think the project is answering women's needs and is thinking about creating a flexible and adaptable program that will work within their lived context is awesome. Again, the how and the lasting nature of it is going to be the big question. But great idea!

Other questions or suggestions our experts felt would support the assessment or success of your idea:
• Operations is a question- language, transport, training etc. I'd like to understand how this isn't adding one more thing to an already full plate- think about what can be taken off a woman's plate to make time for this.

In case you missed it, check out this Storytelling Toolkit for inspiration for crafting strong and compelling stories: http://ideo.to/DXld5g Storytelling is an incredibly useful tool to articulate an idea and make it come to life for those reading it. Don’t forget - June 16 at 11:59PM PST is your last day to make changes to your idea on the OpenIDEO platform.
 
Have questions? Email us at bridgebuilder@ideo.com.
 
Looking forward to reading more!

Photo of Lucie Argelies
Team

Dear IDEO Bridge Builder team,

So many thanks for your kind, insightful and enthusiastic feedback! We are also very excited about this opportunity to improve, refine and scale our program with your support and we strongly believe there is a lot we could learn from each other!

We have integrated some of your doubts and clarification needs in our proposal, but here are some direct answers to the relevant questions you raised:

Q: How is the training conducted for non-literate women, women who speak dialects, and how will home support be provided?

--> The solar program trainees are divided into three groups for the Enriche workshop- English speaking, Hindi speaking and other languages. The other languages primarily tend to be Spanish, French, Bhutanese, and Swahili. Most often one person each language group understands a fair amount of English and we are able to utilize her expertise to convey the information to her other group members. We also at times have staff or volunteers for Spanish and French translation, along with the services of Google Translate.
An integral part of the program relates to demystification of knowledge such that it is readily translated into practical skills, such as making Oral Rehydration Solutions, reusable sanitary napkins, efficient stoves, composting, etc. Furthermore role plays, images and videos are utilized to address other topics such as gender equality, savings, banking, etc.
The resource material being created is extremely image heavy to ensure that the ability to read and write, therefore language is not critical to understanding the concept being presented.
We will follow a similar path for the digitization of our curriculum which will also have voiceovers in multiple languages.

Q: Is there childcare on site?

--> Barefoot College prefers to invest in women between the ages of 36 to 65 as these women are fully vested in their communities. A large majority of our solar trainees are grandmothers and have no young children. This gives them the time and space of mind they need to fully focus on this growth opportunity. In instances where women do bring along a child for the six month training, an on-site creche provides child care.

Q: Can you consider bringing in teams/cohorts of women from villages so there will be support back in the villages when they return- people who understand the paradigm shift.

--> From our +45 years experience working at the grassroots level we understood that paradigm shift can only happen at the community level with strong engagement and ownership in the change process. Practical considerations do not allow for additional cohorts of women to be on campus with the solar trainees during the six month residential course the trainees attend. However the solar trainees are strongly encouraged and provided with some tools to share the information learned with their community. The ENGAGE module of the Enriche program plans on engaging communities of solar trainees and other communities to engage larger groups via training women leaders, health workers and other women as ‘Peer to Peer Facilitators’. They will be provided with resources to conduct workshops relevant to their community members at the village level.

Q: Also think about home support for them and their families when they are gone? (cooking, cleaning, supporting household responsibilities?)

--> The solar trainees are selected with involvement of the whole community, village elders/representatives, families and the ground partner ngo. Therefore the village decides which women would be best suited to undertake the journey to bring light to the village. In return the villagers commit to provide support to the woman’s family and in ensuring that the required household activities is also taken care of.

--> We acknowledge the concern raised on the “returning home “ support. This is exactly the reason “ENGAGE” module has been designed. Feedback from the women and the ground partner have made us realize that implementation of the “ENHANCE” module in the community is crucial for a sustained and large scale impact. The ground partner who have been working with the communities for a long time plays a larger role in the community outreach. They take the role of supporting the trainees to gather women, provide place such as the REW (Rural Electronic Workshop) that is set up as a space for solar equipment repairs, spare parts, excess inventory, etc., for community gatherings and workshops, linking with local services and support systems.

(see next comment for the rest of questions!)

Photo of Lucie Argelies
Team

We would also like to mention that in the first six months of solar training returning home, we have received success stories from some solar engineers who when visited a household to install the solar equipment, also shared information about menstrual health and hygiene, or basic information on household budget making. The trainees in Fiji a larger number of resources to help them share the newly gained knowledge with their church and women groups. We are amazed at the sharing capability of our trainees and are confident that with support coming from the ground partner, they would be reaching to many women leading a community driven change.

Q: I'd support it being brought to life- I think the project is answering women's needs and is thinking about creating a flexible and adaptable program that will work within their lived context is awesome. Again, the how and the lasting nature of it is going to be the big question. But great idea!

--> Is is very important to listen from our ground partners, women facilitators and participants on the how. Through our focus group and user interviews we understood there will not be a “one solution fits all”.
Regarding the lasting nature of the program we believe that ownership and internal capacity building are key. This is what we focus on through our ENGAGE phase. We also know the importance of building local support through networks, mentoring and linkages to locally available services, which led to the creation of our EMPOWER phase.

Q: Operations is a question- language, transport, training etc. I'd like to understand how this isn't adding one more thing to an already full plate- think about what can be taken off a woman's plate to make time for this.

--> Solar Training: The solar training program is a very hands-on program where observation and practice is the key to learning. Each solar trainee builds 35 solar home systems during the six month period and troubleshoots them. Tools such as color coding and simple digital apps are utilized along with a step by step pictorial book to aid learning.

--> Language:
Our solar trainers are also non-formally educated people of rural background, who in most cases are not fully literate and speak a few words of English. Barefoot College trainers have therefore naturally developed methods to overcome the literacy and language barriers: a demonstration is worth a thousand words, learning by doing, memorizing by repeating and practicing are the mantras followed during the training.
For our Enriche program, we design digital materials targeted at illiterate users and aim to translate them in the local dialects. Our beekeeping curriculum is for example being developed in Swahili for our Tanzanian Mamas beekeepers.

--> Transport: Barefoot College with assistance from the ground partner, organizes the round trip transport of the solar trainees from their villages to Tilonia.
Solar House Equipment: Once the women are back in their villages as solar engineers, Barefoot College with support from the ground partner ships the solar household equipment to the solar engineer villages.

--> Time: Enriche is build around Women’s priority and saving time is definitely one of them: as you rightly mention rural women have a lot on their plates! This is why one of our focus is teaching some practical solutions to save them time (improved cookstove and rain water harvesting reduce daily collection time). We also choose livelihoods that can be part time activities such as beekeeping (once a week visit) or sewing (mostly an evening activity once they have light in their homes!).
The most labor intensive time for the solar engineer is typically for a month or so upon arrival of the solar household equipment. Once installation throughout the village has been completed, the repair and maintenance requires considerably smaller time investment.
Our ENGAGE workshops are scheduled by women facilitators and participants themselves. Women select the months in the year that are most appropriate (for e.g. low seasons for crops) and the time and number of hours per day that are the most appropriate for their schedule.



We loved the resources you shared and we will surely encourage our team members to craft some compelling stories about Barefoot College and Enriche impact!

Thanks again for this opportunity to use Human Centered Design to improve our program, and crossing fingers for the last phase!

The Enriche team

Photo of Lesa R. Walker MD, MPH
Team

Lucie Argelies I noted your project as it was highlighted in the recent email we received from the Bridgebuilder OpenIDEO challenge. Happy to see your great approach to feedback and how you have refined your project as a result. I have heard of the Barefoot College before and I am so impressed. You do remarkable work. I am part of the team for the "Compassion Games" proposal in the Bridgebuilder Challenge (https://challenges.openideo.com/challenge/bridgebuilder/expert-feedback/compassion-games-survival-of-the-kindest). It would be great to connect sometime. I'd love to explore how we could collaborate with you to engage the Barefoot College in the Compassion Games and how the people who attend the Barefoot College could then bring the Games back to their own communities.

Photo of Lucie Argelies
Team

Hi Lesa R. Walker MD, MPH !

Thank you so much for your message.

We would absolutely love to explore how we could collaborate with you on the Compassion Games! It looks brilliant and we could definitely use that during our program so that our rural women bring it back along with them to their communities!

Please drop us an email at enriche@barefootcollege.org so that we can take this discussion forward. Crossing fingers for the selection of both our projects as we might be able to discuss this in person during the kick-off workshop!

Warm regards and all the best!

Lucie

Photo of Lesa R. Walker MD, MPH
Team

Lucie Argelies  Fantastic! We will definitely be in touch! I am introducing you to Jon Ramer , the Founder/Director of the Compassion Games! Excited about our potential collaboration! Looking forward to getting to know you and learn more about your great work with the Barefoot College!

Photo of Lucie Argelies
Team

Great! Looking forward to hearing from you very soon!

Photo of Anne Evans
Team

I love what you're doing .."Enriche focuses on eight building blocks: Women’s Health, Financial Inclusion, Human, Legal and Civil Rights, Micro-enterprise, Livelihood Skills, Self-Awareness, Aspiration & Agency, Digital Literacy and Environmental Stewardship," and the grassroots, realistic approach you're taking. Have you looked at adding affordable, solar powered satellite broadband as a tool for all these goals? Our solution works anywhere in the world? Please see our solution: https://challenges.openideo.com/challenge/bridgebuilder/improve/appalachia-empowerment-collaborative

Anne

Photo of Lucie Argelies
Team

Dear Anne Evans ,

Thank you so much for your kind message!

Absolutely! Our R&D department is currently working to bring solar power, connectivity and relevant content to the most remote and marginalized rural communities. Women trained as solar engineers play a key role as they ensure that power is always available in their communities rural "Digital Hubs".
We are currently piloting this for our Night School initiative and designing content for our ENRICHE program.

Happy to put you in touch with our R&D team if you would like discuss about the technical solution for connectivity through satellite broadband. Please drop us an email at enriche@barefootcollege.org.

Many thanks and warm regards!

Lucie

Photo of Anu Jain
Team

2. How much work has been done on developing the solar training? What additional expertise would you be bringing on board?
Solar Training Related: The solar training program is well entrenched and we have trained 783 international solar engineers in 83 countries so far.
The Enriche program is built on Barefoot College’s 45 years experience of demystifying knowledge and skills and putting them in the hands and control of non formally educated people. The Enriche curriculum uses this expertise to design for illiterate and semi-literate learners using practical activities and visual teaching tools relevant to isolated rural areas.
Additional Expertise is brought onboard by a talented team of professional bringing expertise in specific areas of the program, for e.g. Reproductive Health & Nutrition (Dr. Monalisa Padhee), Beekeeping (Pierre Canevet), Coffee farming (Lawrence Miglialo), Social Enterprises Development (Nishit Singh). This expertise is complemented by the expertise of our outstanding partners (Ecofemme, Bees For Development, Tostan, Fundacion Capital, Jaipur Rugs etc.)

3. How would Asha find out about Barefoot College and the project? Would you tell me more about the solar training and certifications Asha would receive? How long is the training and is it full-time? What are her employment prospects post-training?
Our ground partners (GP) are the most critical link between Barefoot College and the communities that are selected to be solar electrified. They help identify non-electrified villages which in most likelihood would not be a part of the government's electrification grid due to their remoteness. Typically the GPs have been working in these communities over a period of time and have invested in creating strong relationships. Meetings with the village elders, women’s groups and eventually the entire community ensue. These help determine their interest in solar electrifying the village for a periodical fee that would be a little under their current fuel expenses. Further meetings detail the entire process and the villages to be electrified are shortlisted.
Asha finds out about Barefoot College as a part of the meetings held in the village. Her selection is a collective decision of the community, the GP and Barefoot College.
The solar training is a full time six month residential training. No certifications are given. We believe that her “certificate” will come from her community benefiting from the solar equipment:
Upon return to her village, Asha solar electrifies the households in her community and receives a stipend from the community for installation, repair and maintenance of the solar equipment. Barefoot College along with the ground partner raises funds for the solar equipment and ships it to the village with support from the ground partner.

4. Specifically for the solar training, what is the timeline for the project over the next 1 to 3 years e.g. year 1: identify training provider, solar panel manufacturer etc.
For our Solar Program, we are currently focusing on scaling up our approach and training capacity via the opening of Regional Training centers via People-Public-Private partnerships. Our objectives in targeted countries is to achieve financial allocations within National Energy Budgets to fund decentralized Renewable Energy (RE) initiatives with women at the center.
We opened our first Regional Training Center in Zanzibar in August 2015. Within the next 3 years, we aim to open other Regional training centers in Madagascar, Liberia, Senegal, Burkina Faso, Guatemala, Myanmar, and Fiji.

Integrating our Solar and Enriche program would allow to support women from rural communities to 1) fabricate, install, and maintain Renewable Energy technologies in their communities, 2) start-up their enterprise and have access to credit (grants/loans), and, 3) count on an enabling environment from pertinent authorities and support from their communities, and 4) socio-economically empowered, act as role models and advocate for the promotion of gender equality and improved quality of life.

Photo of Anu Jain
Team

Dear Kate,

Here are our responses to your questions:
Q1. Am I right in thinking that you would be providing solar training to women utilising your four phase program?
Rural women undertake a six month residential training to become solar engineers at our regional centers. It is an intense training program, six days a week focusing on hands on learning. This culminates in the women becoming solar engineers who have the skills to install, repair and maintain household solar equipment in their community.

What is important to note here is that these women are typically from far flung areas and have extremely limited access to information or resources. Ingrained patriarchy and other socio-economic factors have restricted these women to realise or understand their dreams and ability to pursue them. Many of them are not respected in their communities and have little decision making power. Hence unsurprisingly when these women spend six months in an atmosphere where they are treated equally as men, recognised for their traditional wisdom, courage to step out of their villages and learn a skill which will benefit their entire community , this becomes a life changing experience.

These women gradually gain confidence and never cease an opportunity to learn much more than solar. This direct feedback from the trainees led to the development of the holistic Enriche program. The journey can be broadly divided into 4 different phases and covers 8 different building blocks which have been identified to help these women to reach their full potential, accomplish their dreams and transform their communities. The ENHANCE and ENABLE phases are covered during the period of solar training. The ENGAGE and EMPOWER phases are covered once the women are back in their communities. These four phases of the journey enable these women to become agents of change to create sustainable positive impact in their communities.

ENHANCE (Awareness and Aspiration): Workshops, discussions, role plays, activities related to Self Awareness & Agency, Women’s Health, Digital Literacy, Financial Inclusion, Micro-Enterprise, Human Rights & Civil Society and Environmental Stewardship.

ENABLE (Livelihoods): The solar trainees undergo an additional livelihood training during their six month stay.
Additionally we reach out to rural women to train them in livelihood skills such as beekeeping to enable financial security.

ENGAGE (Community Outreach): In the design phase at present. Based on the community needs and aspirations, extending ENRICH related workshops directly to the rural communities.

EMPOWER (Self-reliant Entrepreneurs): Discovery phase, exploring different models that provide Financial Services, Mentoring & Market Linkages
work (such as BRAC’s Graduation Approach) and connecting with different organizations to learn from their successes and failures.

Enriche Social Enterprises focuses on (1) Providing rural Women with a full understanding of the value chain including experiencing the virtuous cycle from thought inception to sales in a supportive structure. (2) Using centralised branding, Marketing and Sales strategy support to ensure success, confidence and competence. (3) Creating products and services that deliver social and environmental benefits.
Barefoot College Training Centers in India and abroad serve as Incubation Hubs, where Enriche enterprises benefit from a dedicated entrepreneurial team with local expertise ranging from technical training to end-consumer marketing. Transforming livelihood opportunities into vertically integrated Social Enterprises providing adequate support throughout the entire Value Chain.
Our Social Enterprises are adapted to the local needs and resources as well as market opportunities. Enterprises focusing on beekeeping, coffee farming, tailoring and traditional nutrition supplements have so far been launched under the B.Barefoot brand.

Photo of Kate Rushton
Team

Hi Lucie,

It is nice to see the updates to the project.

Am I right in thinking that you would be providing solar training to women utilising your four phase program?

How much work has been done on developing the solar training? What additional expertise would you be bringing on board?

How would Asha find out about Barefoot College and the project? Would you tell me more about the solar training and certifications Asha would receive? How long is the training and is it full-time? What are her employment prospects post-training?

Specifically for the solar training, what is the timeline for the project over the next 1 to 3 years e.g. year 1: identify training provider, solar panel manufacturer etc.

Photo of Lucie Argelies
Team

Hi Kate Rushton !

Thanks a lot for your message.

Yes this is indeed our website: www.barefootcollege.org

Would love to tell you more about Barefoot College plans for the next 3 years and, yes, we are currently working on the Beneficiary phase deliverables. We would actually love to connect to some design firms interested in Pro Bono work. I will drop you an email so we can take this conversation further...

Many thanks!

Lucie

Photo of Kate Rushton
Team

Hi Lucie,

I look forward to seeing your answers to the beneficiary feedback questions, beneficiary feedback, and user experience journey. If you have any questions at all, please tag me using ‘@‘ and ‘Kate Rushton’ or send me an email - krushton@ideo.com

Are there certain types of organisations or organisations working in specific geographies that you are keen to connect to?

Photo of Kate Rushton
Team

Hi Lucie!

Is this your website - https://www.barefootcollege.org/ ?

Would you tell me what Barefoot College would like to do over the next 1-3 years as part of a project that bridges two or more of peace, prosperity or planet?