Solar Mamas

Nuria López Torres 

Barefoot College is an Indian NGO whose main objective is to train and empower poor women from rural areas across the world to become solar engineers and learn how to manufacture solar panels and lamps. For six months, women from India and from countries as diverse as Mexico, Syria, Mauritania, Botswana, or Kiribati, among many others, live together and learn to lead small changes in their communities and improve their living conditions. Back in their villages, they teach other women to build lamps and solar panels. These women have brought light to more than 14,500 homes in 77 countries.

Apart from building solar lamps, Barefoot College has other educational and environmental projects, such as building solar stoves that help prevent deforestation in places where forests are cut down to use the wood for cooking stoves in towns and villages.

For many years, I have focused part of my work on issues related to women and gender-related topics. When I learned about the work Barefoot College was doing, training and helping these women to empower themselves within their communities, it was clear to me that I wanted to tell this story. As a documentary photographer, I am interested in denouncing violations of women’s rights, as well as any situation of injustice against women. I am also interested in giving visibility to stories that shed light on all that women can do in the world if given a chance.