20,000 Suns: Hogan Lovells Empowers Women to Bring Solar Light to 34 Countries with Barefoot College

Hogan Lovells is partnering with Barefoot College and the Government of India to train 400 women in rural parts of the world to become solar engineers, and bring light to 20,000 homes.

This cross-sector, global initiative has non-formally educated, poor, rural, women at its heart - Barefoot College teaches a woman everything she needs to know to become a solar engineer, sends her home to provide off-grid, renewable energy to her entire village, then makes her responsible for maintaining the technology.  She goes from being a vulnerable individual in her village, to being a valued and valuable stakeholder with critical knowledge to share.

Through a combination of funds, pro bono (free) legal advice and donations of equipment, Hogan Lovells will coordinate partnerships that strengthen Barefoot College's mission to unlock the democratic power of technology, enabling rural poor communities to transform themselves.  

As a global firm with a unique practice of lawyers in more than 40 offices around the world and a network of legal partners across Africa, we are delighted to be able to mobilize our network to achieve impact.

Hogan Lovells Chair, Nicholas Cheffings, said: 

"This is an exciting partnership that couldn’t be more timely.  With the UN Global Goals taking root across the world, and the empowerment of women being a priority for businesses in every sector, this initiative embodies our commitment to social justice and progress.  Our core specialisms in renewables and infrastructure, coupled with our practices across Africa and Asia, align so well with the mission of this initiative.  I can't wait to see the results."

Meagan Fallone, CEO of Barefoot College, said:

Globally, gender disparities in economic opportunities continue to restrict the rights and potential of half the world’s human resources. It is essential to address how women’s equal and active participation can be encouraged in the areas of technology, finance, energy transitions, and sustainable development, in ways that deconstruct social and structural inequities and reinforce progress.”


Head of our Africa Practice, Andrew Skipper, said:

"The Barefoot College provides one of the best platforms for empowering women to make a significant social impact to both their families, and the wider communities in which they live. As the program expands, particularly in Africa, we look forward to contributing to an initiative that brings together the public and private sectors, governments and NGOs to unlock the power of technology in transforming the lives of the rural poor in the world."

Alexander McMyn, who heads up our India Practice, said:

"I am very excited about our partnership with the Indian Government and Barefoot College.  Being part of an initiative that sees Indian models of working used to lift the poorest communities out of poverty is an honor.  And seeing India take such a leadership role in this endeavor is a powerful message to the world."

Louise Moore, who heads up our International Environment practice, said:

"Global issues require global responses - which is why I am so excited that we are part of this partnership with Barefoot College and the Government of India.  As a global firm, with expertise and experience in energy, renewables and environmental law, we are delighted to support Barefoot in their roll out, which will bring light to off grid communities that would otherwise remain unconnected."

Abhishek Saxena, partner at Phoenix Legal, an Indian law firm in New Delhi, said:

"Barefoot College and the Indian Government are doing admirable work in their mission to solar electrify villages across the Developing World. The Ghanaian proverb, 'you educate a woman you educate a family', can be aptly modified to describe the outcome of this initiative, 'you make women solar engineers, you light up entire communities'. We at Phoenix Legal are delighted to be working with Hogan Lovells to help support this initiative."


Rachael Droog

[email protected]

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