Karuna-Shechen’s solar program is based on the empowerment of women and rural development.
Karuna-Shechen has partnered with Bunker Roy and the Barefoot College to adopt this unique approach that makes solar electricity available to the poorest populations in rural areas.
Illiterate women from rural communities are trained for six months at the Barefoot College in Tilonia, India, to become solar engineers. They learn how to make, install, repair and maintain solar panels. They set up maintenance workshops for panels that provide five hours of electricity a day. The villagers control and manage the initiative community and the users have ownership of the equipment.
Karuna-Shechen sent five grandmothers from one of its adopted villages in India to become solar engineers. They are bringing solar electricity to 300 houses in their village, making it possible for children who work in the fields during the day to study at night, thus substantially improving the families' lives.
Karuna-Shechen is extending this successful program to Nepal and other locations in India.