Thursday, 17 October 2013

My Story about the BAREFOOT EDUCATION FOR AFRIKA TRUST... FOUNDATIONS AND FUTURE

In my own Words, Barefoot means, 
"simplifying every complex and exclusive system to solicit and harness the contributable value from a rich and broad range of stakeholders (for Afrika particularly the vast rural)… It is breaking the walls of class, language, race and even geographical location and creating new platforms of freedom, rebuilding confidence even in societies’ ‘least’ sophisticated groups. It is reengaging, collaborating, rebuilding capacity of rural Afrika to challenge contemporary knowledge based on the rich Afrikan experience and wisdom.” 

The basis of the Barefoot Principle is: "Knowledge Exists only at the Point of Action and Decision Making"

Now, about BEAT

In 2009, a long conceived idea of pursuing a “Holistic Afrikan Education Model” took its first step to life by the establishment of the Barefoot Education for Afrika Trust (BEAT). This was the beginning of a journey; a journey starting from a confluence of people and ideas of similar belief, values and a united envisaged destiny of an Afrikan “Barefoot” University.

After working with some of the people who have laid the foundations of BEAT, such as Prof Mandi Rukuni (Director) and Dr Mabel Hungwe (Chairperson) I have developed my own understanding of this Barefoot philosophy.

In a paragraph, I would say, "Barefoot" is the code-name for simplifying every complex and exclusive system to solicit and harness the contributable value from a rich and broad range of stakeholders (for Afrika particularly the vast rural)… It is breaking the walls of class, language, race and even geographical location and creating new platforms of freedom, rebuilding confidence even in societies’ ‘least’ sophisticated groups. It is reengaging, collaborating, rebuilding capacity of rural Afrika to challenge contemporary knowledge based on the rich Afrikan experience and wisdom.” 

It may be education, it may be technology, it may be agricultural research and extension, it may be business management and entrepreneurship… whatever it is, I believe it can go higher for Afrika by “going Barefoot” (a phrase I will constantly use on this blog).
So, here is the BEAT philosophy and how BEAT works…

BEAT Beliefs (taken from the BEAT Profile Document 2009)

BEAT operates on the belief that knowledge exists only at the point of action and decision making…  That is, the point where information is converted to knowledge.
BEAT operates on the principles of:
1. Action learning; 
2. Participatory approaches to developing content (be it technical content, policy content etc.); and, 
3. Co-creation of knowledge.

BEAT Activities

Over the past years BEAT has been growing steadily. The past two years however have shown great prospects for accelerated growth of BEAT and the “Barefoot Revolution” in the coming decades. The African Union declared 2013 "The Year of African Renaissance" indicating significant political will to “Go Barefoot.” In partnership with organizations such as the Swedish Cooperative Centre, BEAT has played a pivotal role in the establishment of peer-learning activities as a community development tool as well as for professional development. 

Fore more information on BEAT visit: www.BeatAfrika.org 

Go Barefoot! 


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