Barefoot College–The Education of Life Experience

Rural Rajasthan

Rural Rajasthan

For more than 40 years, a group of steadfast individuals in India have endeavored to live, inspire, and uplift while modeling their work on the words of Gandhi. Barefoot College works with the impoverished, exploited, and marginalized poor to teach viable skills to those who don’t have access to learning and livelihood through other avenues. Grandmothers become solar technicians, poor and destitute groups labor together to bring potable water to a community, and many other projects make huge strides toward community health. As an organization that cleaves to local wisdom and traditional ways while infusing individuals with new pride and skill, the College has racked up amazing successes: brought solar power to 1,000 villages; hot water; solar cookers; solar desalinization of drinking water; rainwater harvesting; literacy and hands-on skill training for rural children; night schools; healthcare via 260 Barefoot Doctors; 1,850 rural women employed as artisans and weavers; a community radio station; and a long tradition of social, economic, and political activism.

There are now two campuses in the Rajasthan region, the old campus in a former healthcare center and the new campus built from the ground up by the community. Volunteers from outside the region don’t work directly for the actual organization, but can work in support of the college via 60 local partners. You can also support the work from home via donation (in an amount to purchase a malaria-proof mosquito net, for example, or solar light, or help build a water tank), or by shopping in the cool online store, purchasing some of the products created by this empowered/empowering community.

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