Women Mentors

Minister for Women Rosy Akbar.

THE ‘solar grandmas’ sent to study at the Barefoot College in India in 2014 will become mentors at the new college in Vanua Levu.

Women’s Minister Rosy Akbar said they were aware that some had passed away but the rest would be included in the curriculum once the new Barefoot College opens in Nadogo, Macuata next year.

The $4 million Fijian Government fully funded Barefoot College, was now solely owned by Government, she said.

In visiting the site, Ms Akbar said solar engineering courses would be part of the curriculum at the college for rural women.

“We hope that this building will be completed in the next six months and the grandmas sent to India will become mentors while we train younger ones too,” she said.

“This college will have a mixture of the young and elderly women so they will take back to their rural communities what they’ve learnt and fix and install solar systems.

“Unfortunately, there has been delays to the construction of the building because of COVID but as soon as it’s completed we will be looking at finer details and work with NGO partners.”

She said the college was initially planned for the Pacific region and in partnership with the Barefoot College in India but that has changed.

“The Fijian Government is fully funding the $4m and we will empower our rural women with this special skills of solar electrification.”

About 10 women were sent from Fiji to attend Barefoot College in India in 2014.

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