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Help us turn the lights on

Social and Climate Justice are possible- and inevitable- when we strive for it together.

Barefoot College International is a women-centric, education-driven movement aiming to amplify prosperity and gender equity right to the very last mile. We believe in the potential of relevant social enterprise models to empower remote, marginalized communities. Our initiatives boost rural incomes, advocate sustainable lifestyles and reverse the trend of urban migration. We envision the untapped potential of rural and indigenous women as the greatest resource we have to create lasting systems change.

the barefoot story

rural women barefoot solar

our mission

Barefoot College International has harnessed the power of women to create lasting change globally since 2015. With the goal of increasing resilience and adaptability in the face of Climate Change, our programs have the capacity to foster resilience in communities that are the most vulnerable. Our Solar, livelihood and Enriche initiatives support the prosperity, opportunity and innovation that is innate in all women. With roots in India, Barefoot College International has now operated in 93 countries worldwide and has trained thousands of rural and indigenous women.

In alignment with the McKinsey study, we recognize the opportunity for women and girls to be the solution the world has been looking for. Often overlooked, their untapped potential is a boundless resource that could help greatly increase the average family income, help villages better defend themselves against natural disasters and urban migration and boost health and wellbeing for entire communities. We offer women the educational resources they deserve to ensure that they’ll succeed. 

barefoot women solar empower college


Solar electricity can be a line of defence for remote communities. The sun as an abundant and boundless source of energy can be harnessed to transform people’s lives who are still without access to electricity. It’s a bright solution that offers safety, sustainability, better health, a more affordable source of light and a way to lengthen the time that villagers can work or study. For communities who struggle with natural disasters or additional energy challenges, solar electricity offers consistency and protection from power outages or increased costs of fossil fuel-reliant energy. The Barefoot Solar education initiative trains women on the benefits of solar along with how to assemble, install and maintain solar lighting systems independently. Even if they are illiterate and have no formal education, they are welcome to enrol in our programs and learn with our team of master trainers, who are rural people themselves. 

In this way, we are helping to forge rural resilience in each village at a time. We continue to expand the reach of our programs, offering our curriculums in more regional training centres and pop-up centres, making education available to more women. From around the world, Solar Mamas are striving to light up their own villages confidently and skillfully. Women are fast becoming the change-makers in their villages, growing roots of lasting change for their communities.

barefoot solar women guatemala empower

ENRICHE Barefoot Women Empowerment

Fully closing gender gaps would add $28 trillion to the annual global GDP by 2025. That amount of prosperity could resolve major crises such as food shortages, climate change, pollution and gender disparity conflicts such as domestic abuse. The Barefoot Enriche program was created to awaken women’s aspirations and support them to become louder voices in their communities. Their journey to self-empowerment begins with Enriche: by graduating from their classes and workshops and being able to bond with women from other communities, they gain confidence, skills and knowledge that they return home with. They ripple out the lessons of their training into their families and communities, amplifying the benefits of their training and inspiring entire future generations. Entrepreneurial mindsets are activated and our Solar Mamas begin to take the wheel in their own lives.

With every livelihood program we offer (Solar, coffee, beekeeping, digital literacy, sewing), the Barefoot Enriche and Women Wellness curriculums coincide. Our initiatives are all specially tailored for rural women, thus practical, grassroots knowledge that is regionally relevant is at the forefront of their training. Enriche is divided into 8 key impact areas: women’s health, self-awareness, financial inclusion, environmental stewardship, digital literacy, micro-enterprise and livelihood skills and human rights.

Board Members

Aurelia (Aura) Reinhardt

Steven D Sandler

Barefoot College International Board

Moira McCracken

Barefoot College International Board

David Van de Wiel

Barefoot College International Board

Khrystyne Haje

Barefoot College International Board

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