Digital Integration: Barefoot College Solar Mamas

by Friends of Barefoot College


Barefoot College trains illiterate women from non-electrified communities around the world to become solar engineers who light up their communities. In 2015, Barefoot College began integrating digital technology (mainly iPads usage) into the Solar Engineering Curriculum enabling the solar engineers to enhance their basic digital literacy. The program aims to reach 80 solar engineers across 20 villages in 20 countries.
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The solar mama engineers are encouraged to better leverage herself as a change agent. She is encouraged to take a role in enterprise development, health, and sustainability. The project creates a model for digital inclusion and the deployment of quality technology for quality of life in the developing world that mirrors a commitment to stop marginalising the rural poor from access to the life changing technology evolution, from which they have been largely excluded.


The project has a pre loaded set of apps offering circuitry games, allows the women to practice out of classroom hours and mastery of basic features allows them to record their progress, trouble shoot and teach using audio, pictures and video. By developing and loading workshops in women's reproductive health, wastewater management, basic mathematics and pre literacy games the women have been able to share content in a viral approach

Long-Term Impact

The digital inclusion program aims to reach 80 solar engineers across 20 villages in 20 countries. The long term effects is the increase in knowledge transfer in Health and Livelihood activities to benefit the whole community and increase technology participation by women. Technology will be used in development of curriculum teaching tools and lesson plans in health and livelihood building skills. The main impact is to bridge the digital divide especially the gender digital divide

Additional Documentation

This project has provided additional documentation in a PDF file (projdoc.pdf).


Barefoot College website
Barefoot College in Zanzibar website

Organization Information

Friends of Barefoot College

Location: Little Rock, AR - USA
Website: http:/​/​​
Friends of Barefoot College
Project Leader:
Lawrence Migalio
Media Specialist
Tilonia, Rajasthan India

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