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Meagan Fallone

Former CEO Barefoot College and Barefoot College International(BCI). Current Barefoot College International Board Director and Founder of Step Up Advisers, Ltd. Social Entrepreneur, Corporate Social Intrapreneur & strategist. Working in agri livelihoods, financial inclusion, environmental stewardship, renewable energy and digital technology integration. Led a tripling of size of the Barefoot College to 93 countries. Established 5 Barefoot Women's Vocational Training Colleges in sub-Saharan Africa, 1 in the Pacific Islands and commenced planning for 1 in Latin America. Worked extensively to develop the women’s rural entrepreneur and Agri Livelihood programs through digital integration. Now leading digital product development of a Learning Management System for smallholder farmers in a systems approach with Innoterra Ag a Swiss/Indian Agri Food technology Platform. Work is recognized globally with Governments, Private Sector and Multilateral partners. Meagan has been distinguished with the 2018 Hillary Laureate Award for mid-career global leadership on poverty, climate change, social justice and peace; the 2019 Mother Theresa Award for Social Justice and together with her Barefoot College International team, the Wise Award for Education Innovation.

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Barefoot College
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Model
Hybrid Social Enterprise
Sectors
Sustainable Development; Education, Skills and Learning; Gender Inequality
Headquarters
India
Areas of Impact
South Asia, Africa, Latin America, Afghanistan, Bhutan, Bolivia, India

Barefoot College

Barefoot College demonstrates that illiteracy is not a barrier to poor communities developing themselves and that the most sophisticated technologies can be disseminated by poor rural men and women who can barely read and write. As such, thousands of people are trained each year to be teachers, doctors, midwives, dentists, health workers, solar engineers, water drillers and testers, hand pump mechanics, architects, artisans, designers, masons, communicators, computer programmers, and accountants.

The Barefoot campus itself is a testament to the quality of its training programmes. Barefoot-educated architects and masons constructed most of the campus out of low-cost materials and it is the only fully solar-powered college in India.

Barefoot engineers have also helped electrify 35,000 houses with solar energy in 1,000 villages in 37 countries, saving 4.6 million litres of kerosene from polluting the environment. Since 1986, Barefoot engineers have helped collect rainwater in 901 schools in remote villages in India as well as Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Mauritania, Senegal, The Gambia, Sierra Leone and Mali, providing water for drinking and sanitation to 2.65 million rural children. In addition, 1,513 rainwater harvesting structures have been built in rural schools and community centres with a total capacity of 96.65 million litres of water every year.

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