Since its inauguration in 2012 and until November 2023, the initiative has involved 30 villages in 12 regions, with the collaboration of five field partners:

  • World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF)
  • Madagascar National Parks (MNP)
  • Department for the Development of the Church of Jesus Christ in Madagascar
  • World Conservation Society (WCS)
  • United Nations Development Program (UNDP)

The country now boasts 100 “women solar engineers” working for the benefit of at least 3,700 households. In November 2023, sixth cohort of women have completed her training at Barefoot College Madagascar Tsiafajavona. 

Solar electrification

Once back in their respective villages, the “women solar engineers” or Solar Mamas carry out the technical work.

The solar committee organizes the electrification of the village. The field partner provides support in the installation of the solar house and finances the solar home lighting systems jointly with the Ministry of Energy.

The NGO BCI Madagascar facilitates the acquisition of materials from suppliers.

The solar house is a building built with the community and for the community. It includes at least three parts:

  • a storage room for equipment and spare parts that can be locked,
  • a well-lit room serving as a workshop for the women solar engineers,
  • a room that can be used by the community for various activities in agreement with the solar committee.

The solar house is equipped with a 300Wp solar system which allows the Solar Mamas to use electrical tools that require electricity (soldering iron). This also allows the use of various electrical devices in the common room (TV, video projector, etc.)

Women empowerment

The solar committee promotes solar products and sales for customers in collaboration with the “women solar engineers (Solar Mamas)”. Together, they decide on orders for materials to be placed with Barefoot College Madagascar. Women Solar Engineers are responsible for the maintenance and assembly of solar systems intended for sale once the materials have been acquired. The solar committee manages sales contracts with customers and manages entrepreneurship as a whole.
Barefoot College Madagascar BCMADA
National Barefoot College Program (NBCM)

Targeted villages

Implementation of the solar initiative began in 2012 in Madagascar. The development of a national program, which aims to scale up the approach throughout the country, was launched in 2017.

The National Barefoot College Madagascar Program aims, by 2030, to build a network of 744 “women solar engineers” from Barefoot College International, enabling 630,000 remote rural households to have sustainable access to solar electricity.

This program would increase the rate of access to electricity in rural areas by 12%. The NBCM contributes to the achievement of the following sustainable development objectives…

Economic growth must be decentralized to create sustainable jobs and promote equality.
We must review and reorganize our economic and social policies to ensure the complete eradication of poverty.
Empowering healthy lives and promoting well-being for all ages and backgrounds is essential for sustainable development.
Reducing inequalities must occur within and across countries.
Receiving a quality education is the foundation for improving people's lives and sustainable development.
The fight against global warming has become an integral part of achieving sustainable development and Climate Justice.
Gender equality is not only a fundamental human right but also a necessary foundation for building a peaceful, prosperous and sustainable world.
Careful management of our oceans and seas is vital for a sustainable future.
Sustainable energy is an opportunity to transform lives, economies and the planet.
Deforestation and desertification pose major challenges to sustainable development.

Become a field partner

Any entity from civil society or the private sector wishing to implement the Women Solar Engineer approach in one or more villages where it operates can submit a proposal to the NBCM.

The Terms of Reference (TOR) for the submission can be requested by sending us an email. There is no submission period, proposals can be submitted at any time.

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