Barefoot College is one of the most amazing communities I’ve ever visited. It was started by a remarkable Indian leader, Bunker Roy, who had a vision for a new way to address rural poverty in India: a school that was built by and exclusively for the poor. If you haven't heard his TED Talk, I highly recommend it as a chance to hear him describe not only his vision, but also the amazing results of that vision.
The college offers so many remarkable programs, such as a solar engineer training program that has trained more than 600 grandmothers from all over India, Pakistan, Afghanistan and elsewhere; with their new skills, these women have electrified thousands of villages. It almost has to be seen to be believed.
My husband, Scott, and I met Bunker and his remarkable partner, Meagan Fallone, at the Skoll World Forum, as the Skoll Foundation was the first to recognize the ingenuity and social entrepreneurship of this man and his innovative vision and sustaining passion. Scott and I subsequently traveled to India to witness Barefoot College in action. We are honored to be part of Bunker’s international advisory board and plan to lead Learning Journeys for the organization to help more Westerners see this amazing model of rural empowerment in action.