When Bunker Roy and the founding team came together to start this organisation, persevering through so many difficulties and nearly insurmountable challenges, criticism and doubt…… to protect the spirit of their vision……… perhaps they did not imagine they would attract the kinds of extraordinary, ordinary people, from more than 16 countries and 13 states in India, who today continue to champion, build upon and evolve that same vision, 43 years later.
Igniting human potential…… disrupting & breaking barriers, demystifying technology, empowering women, enabling economic uplift and democratising knowledge and learning, by and for, the rural poor. Like throwing a stone in a very calm pond, the ripples and effects of some choices go farther than we might ever have imagined.
Barefoot College and its Founder are both equally unique. Our organisation is indeed an implementer of projects at community level in water, alternative education, renewable energy and livelihood development.
But it is also itself a beneficiary community comprising more than 80% rural staff who have not completed more than 8-10 years of formal educationI and who work as part of the voluntary organisation on min wage basis. There continue to be ongoing opportunities for non formally educated staff to join the organisation, learn and contribute to the vision and mission nationally and internationally. Day on day we live and work in the spirit of Mahatma Gandhi, side by side each one of us contributing what we can. This social justice approach exactly mirrors the values of the founding team.
We exist as a social enterprise in the finest sense to act as both a disrupter and a place of social innovation, but also, We work very hard as an advocate for Government adoption of more efficient, innovative and effective solutions into real policy change and national budget frameworks. We are proud of the work we do hand in hand with Government of India here with Ministry of New and Renewable Energy and through more than 81 countries in partnership with Ministry of External Affairs.
We see our partnerships with private sector as pivotal to driving change at scale. Private sector puts their collective resources, business practices, learnings, and talent into our access pool. We learn from each other. We look to deliver better shared value partnerships and drive positive corporate citizenship. These collaborations enable us to perform better, understand more clearly what we are doing and why, articulate it better. They are essential to making impact at scale against the planets most pressing challenges that are stopping so many from thriving.
innovation and enterprise do not happen by accident. It happens by design. In our case human centric design plays a part in everything we do. This is why we are committed to being a strategic and equal partner in all CSR relationships we choose to engage in. Measuring results for every human being they touch.
Creating an eco system that brings rural innovators together with a totally diverse global staff of all levels, education and skills…… all committed to entrepreneurial approaches to their work. This is the Magic of Barefoot College.