CENN’s Green Café Re-Launch - Film Screening and Discussion: ‘Solar Mamas’

On the evening of Monday, March 11, at the Bar-Restaurant Divan, the re-launch of CENN’s ‘Green Cafes’ took place with the screening of the documentary ‘Solar Mamas’ (2012), a film which raised important questions on the possibility of achieving both environmental and social sustainability in community development.

The documentary told the inspiring story of Rafea, an uneducated woman who had never left her tiny village of tents in Jordan. In the film, she travels to the Barefoot College in India to become a solar-energy engineer, hoping she can return to help her village become sustainable and self-sufficient. But learning about the electrical components without being able to read, write or understand English is the easy part. Indeed, Rafea faces many challenges, including the possibility of losing her children, if she wants to complete the course.

After the film, the audience was avid to share their opinions and thoughts on the film. Amongst others, the audience discussed the role of men in the empowerment of women, the possibility of real environmental sustainability in development and social projects as well as the meaning of education and learning. Although no definite answers can be given to these questions, the film and the debate encouraged the participants to carry on asking themselves these questions and to carry on imagining solutions.

This event was part of CENN’s Green Café campaign, a monthly happening open to everyone which aims at outlining the social and cultural realities within which the environmental issues of our time are embedded.

If you were not present yesterday but wish to watch the film: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ON_NQ1HnRYs

For more information about the film: http://www.rafeasolarmama.com/

To learn more about the Barefoot College movement in India: http://www.barefootcollege.org/