I'm adding the Barefoot College
to the list of amazing programs that Urgent Evoke has taught me about... Or, rather, encouraged me to go learn from.
Their own self description expresses the most important lesson: for any rural development activity to be successful and sustainable, it
must be based in the village as well as managed and owned by those whom
it serves. Therefore, all
Barefoot initiatives whether social, political or economic, are planned
and implemented by a network
of rural men and women who are known as ‘Barefoot Professionals’.
That philosophy captures my own version of anarchism, as well as an important anti-colonialist message for would be reformers from the so called first world, like me.
The idea of an organized grass roots educational collective, with ecological and social justice purposes, has enormous potential. Here in Oakland, where we may be facing a union/management deadlock in our public schools, and teachers' strike in September, I wonder if there's a way to organize "Barefoot Middle Schools" or the like..?