!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Strict//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-strict.dtd"> Streamline Training & Documentation: The Barefoot College

Monday, October 06, 2008

The Barefoot College

Alerted by a report tonight on the PBS Newshour with Jim Lehrer, I've spent some time informing myself about the mission and activities of the Barefoot College.

The Barefoot College was founded in 1972 by Sanjit "Bunker" Roy in Tilonia, the village in Rajasthan, India, where he was living.

In its own words, the Barefoot College takes as its mission addressing
... problems of drinking water, girl education, health & sanitation, rural unemployment, income generation, electricity and power, as well as social awareness and the conservation of ecological systems in rural communities.

The College benefits the poorest of the poor who have no alternatives.

The College encourages practical knowledge and skills rather than paper qualifications through a learning by doing process of education.
You can get an idea of the work the Barefoot College is doing — not only in India, but also in other developing countries around the world — by watching the video below. Note that the women learning to install and maintain solar panels and lanterns at the Barefoot College are generally illiterate or semiliterate, but this does not prevent them from acquiring the necessary skills during six months of practical training.

The Barefoot College has a channel at YouTube where you can browse through addiitonal videos detailing its work.


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