Based in Rajasthan, India, Barefoot College has been helping poor rural communities become self-sufficient and sustainable for more than 40 years. At the outset Barefoot's founders adopted the ideas of Mahatma Gandhi into their work ethic. The organization continues to walk that walk today by applying the knowledge, skills and wisdom found in villages to local development; putting technology under the control of poor communities; expanding traditional definitions of education and educators; and championing women's equality.
When we first learned about Barefoot College in 2011, we felt a philosophical alignment with the organization. As we learned more, we knew there was a possibility for a strong partnership and strategic engagement. We worked with Barefoot’s senior advisor and founder to create a grant proposal to equip villages across Zimbabwe with solar electricity. Since that first proposal, we have supported Barefoot College on a number of other strategy, design, and communications projects.
For a vital organization to effectively scale, communication, design and organizational capacity are critical, and often difficult to fund, tools. We saw the potential for Barefoot to reach an increasing larger audience and help villages in new regions benefit from its exemplary programs, by investments in documentary filmmaking, digital platform and donor outreach. We initiated a contract with our design and strategy partner Amplifier Strategies alongside Rebellion Labs to build a communications and media strategy for the documentary release.