Beundransvärt projekt eller storbolagens förlängda arm?

När man ser filmen nedan gläds man åt framgångarna med elektrifering och kritiken mot det moderna skolväsendet men när man går in och tittar vilka som finansierar projektet börjar man fundera. Arundhati Roy menar att NGOs roll i samhällslivet är att lägga band på sociala proteströrelser och att styra in debatten in på för dem ofarliga vägar. Följande donatorer uppger skolan att de har:

  1. Skoll Foundation, USA has provided funds to solar electrify 30 communities in 5 Least Developed Countries around the world
  2. Foundation Ensemble, a private family foundation in France, has provided funds to solar electrify villages in Mali and Malawi
  3. Norwegian Church Aid has provided funds to solar electrify villages in Rwanda, Mauritania and Mali
  4. Rio Tinto, a $1 million award received in 2006, has been spent on solar electrification in Africa
  5. The GEF Small Grants Programme hosted by the UNDP, have supported the hardware costs upto $50,000 each in Benin, Uganda, Mozambique, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Namibia, Rwanda, Cameroon, Niger and Chad
  6. The Government of India, under the ITEC Programme, has provided free visas, air fare and 6 month training costs for nearly 100 illiterate and semi-literate mothers and grandmothers from all over Africa.

Arundhati om NGOs:
(finns även på svenska i senaste Clarté).

Barefoot Grandmas Install Solar Panels

Mahatma Gandhis central belief was that the knowledge, skills and wisdom found in villages should be used for development before getting skills from outside. He also believed that sophisticated technology should be used in rural India, but it should be in the hands and in control of the poor communities so that they are not dependent or exploited while maintaining or replacing this technology. 

Barefoot College in Rajasthan, India has implemented this message of Gandhis since it’s inception. The only fully solar electrified college in India started training rural people to be solar engineers in the 1990’s.

They found that the best candidates were middle aged women. Reading skills are not necessary – nor is understanding any Indian language. Here they train women from other parts of the world, such as Africa and Asia using color codes and sign language!

These women learn to install and maintain solar powered home lighting systems in their villages. They have electrified 350 villages in India alone.

Worldwide, they have brought solar expertise to over 750 villages — to over 19,000 households that lacked electricity in 19 countries!

They offer a 6 month training period, and when they go home they establish workshops in their villages to install, maintain and repair the systems – and the most powerful aspect: they teach each other.

The new: “Teach a man to fish” is “Teach a barefoot Grandma to install solar power.”

–Bibi Farber

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