Barefoot College is a not for profit, Social Enterprise that has been catalyzing solutions to the challenges facing rural poor communities for more than 40 years, with the objective of making them self-sufficient and sustainable. The College was founded in 1972 by Sanjit “Bunker” Roy, following the lifestyle and work style of Mahatma Gandhi. It is today guided by Meagan Fallone who together with a diverse and dynamic team of grass roots social innovators from a wide range of backgrounds, including many non- formally educated, are taking this exceptional organization into the future. It is a team who carry the deep beliefs of Mahatma Gandhi that communities have a responsibility to develop their own capacities before looking to the outside. Dedicated to crafting dynamic partnerships that lead to impact for communities. The ‘Barefoot Solutions’ can be broadly categorized into delivery of Solar Electrification, Clean Water, Education and Livelihood Development. The college has been committed to Empowering Women as change agents, entrepreneurs and environmental stewards for 42 years.
Barefoot College Zanzibar has been placing women at the heart of bringing light to their communities, creating a place of learning, discovery and transformation for rural women living on less than $1,20 a day, most of whom never accessed formal education. A centre where indigenous wisdom and skills are celebrated and valued. Believing that access to light enables all development. Committed to catalysing transformation of poor rural communities, able to sustain and manage their own initiatives into the future, creating stronger civil society, better educational outcomes for their children and sustainable economic independence for women.
As of 2016, 24 rural women have been trained on solar engineering, beekeeping, sewing, financial inclusion, digital skills, nutrition and reproductive health.
Thanks to them, more than households were solar electrified, to provide access to clean and reliable energy to 2700 people on the island.