In cooperation with India’s Government, GEF (Global Environment Facility), PPD (Little Donations Program) and UNDP (United Nations Development Programme) The past year of 2014, were chosen and sent four Honduran women to study at Barefoot University in Tilonia- India with the purpose of educate them in solar energy and engineering and empower them to use this technology in their hometowns which electricity is not used yet.
Iris Marlene Espinal (from Los Hornos), Carmen Lourdes Zambrano (from Los Naranjos), Alnora Casy Estrada and Ingrid Miranda Martínez (from La Mosquitia) have in common a few things. The first one, they are analphabet none of them have ever been taught to read or write, they don’t have any study titles of any kind. Second: All of them live in poor zones of Honduras, in tiny rural communities where electricity is almost non-existent due to communities’ placement and general poverty. Three: They’re willing to travel far away to learn techniques that will improve the lifestyle of their communities because they really want the best for them.
Once they arrive to Barefoot University, they are taught in a practical way, how to elaborate and assemble solar lamps, how to put together the electrical circuitry, how to use it and install solar panels and eventually how to repair them. After sixth months of strenuous teaching the 4 women return to their hometowns with new tools and information to improve their life conditions. In exchange for sharing their knowledge with people and their services in maintenance – installation of the solar lamps, these ladies are paid a monthly wage by the Solar Committee of the nearest city.
With solar electricity these four women made a huge improvement and impact on the lifestyle their communities had, every village reported positively advancements in education, now local schools are powered by solar electricity, so they can use video-beams, electrical fans, bulbs, computers, radios to enhance children’s education. As well as the citizens were able to access television, Internet, night-light, cell-phones and different types of domestic devices powered by electricity like blenders.
These women have proven that limits only exist in our minds. There’s nothing we can’t achieve, not only as woman but also as humans in general, if we have goals and tenacity we surely will make through adversities. You don’t need titles to succeed in life, you only need and unending desire to improve and move forward in life, with just that you will eventually find a way to thrive.