‘Solar Mamas’ shines light on social change

Erinn Williams

A light shined in the desert putting a smile on the face of Rafea Anad, but also the faces of Georgia Southern University students as they watched her bring solar powered light to her community.

“Solar Mamas: An Independent Lens Film” was shown Tuesday in the Biology Building at 6:30 p.m. in room 1119 by the Center for Sustainability in partnership with HandsOn Southeast Georgia.

The film depicted Anad and other women as they studied to become solar engineers at the Barefoot College in Tilonia, India.

“It’s Women’s History Month and this film provides an opportunity to show women in leadership roles in developing countries along with the environmental function that solar energy can provide,” Jeremy Foreman, from HandsOn Southeast Georgia, said.

Anad overcame illiteracy, poverty and a male dominated society in Jordan to bring solar energy and work to her community as well as a better life to her four daughters.

“This film is about a lot more than just solar power. It’s about empowering women and providing opportunities for growth and I believe that students can relate to that. It also shows that we can make more sustainable energy choices,” Dr. Lissa Leege, Director of the Center for Sustainability, said.

Students were impressed by the education that the 27 women from many different countries at Barefoot College were able to gain in just six months.

“People with barely any education living in poverty were able to learn how to do tasks that we spend years of college learning in only a few months. If they can work hard and succeed than we can,” Wesley Davis, a sophomore marketing and public relations major, said.