Barefoot College demystifies education for the rural poor through technology training, giving priority to the thoughts and values of the poor; it builds their confidence and competence by training them to provide a service to their communities. Thus, it combines a pedagogical philosophy, the creation of a technological infrastructure, and the use of technology as a teaching tool for sustainable personal and community development. Barefoot College addresses problems of drinking water, female education, health, sanitation, rural unemployment, income generation, electricity, and power, as well as social awareness and the conservation of ecological systems in rural communities. The College teaches and creates a range of technolo- gies to meet basic needs.
The illiterate, rural poor (earning less than $1 day) are typically considered uneducated and therein not afforded the opportunity for higher wage earning jobs. These societies are often left behind and/or overlooked and not given the skills nor training required to be self sufficient.
The Barefoot College solely serves the illiterate or barely literate margin of society. They provide important education and training on technology used to deliver the basic human needs, such as, lighting, heating, and drying. Through technical education by Barefoot engineers, the College has educated and empowered 8,000 families to improve their quality of life.