Tuesday, May 30, 2017

SELCO Take 2 - Manipal

A long drive brought us from Bangalore to Manipal, the location of another SELCO office that focuses on interventions to improve rural livelihoods.

A long drive brought us from Bangalore to Manipal, the location of another SELCO office that focuses on interventions to improve rural livelihoods. In contrast with the SELCO projects that were discussed in Bangalore, there was one in-depth walkthrough of a rural livelihood project. That level of detail prompted a wide range of questions about each step of SELCO’s process, highlighting the similarities and differences between the urban and rural contexts.

The project activity was split between four groups of students who analyzed one aspect of separate case studies, such as the finances, needs, or renewable energy regulations. After discussing the cases within our groups, we presented our thoughts to the rest of the class and SELCO hosts. This process challenged us to think outside of our chosen field of study while also facilitating discussion that furthered our understanding of these complex problems. The experience has taught me to ask questions both during the initial stages of problem identification and also throughout the solution and application phases to ensure that the intervention is the right fit. 

Following a quick lunch in the city, we bussed to a school that had implemented one of SELCO’s solutions - a solar powered projector with educational programs for the students. It was great to see the impact this project had on the teachers, but even more inspiring to hear how it promoted engagement and enhanced the learning capabilities of the students. This example showcased the ability of social entrepreneurs, such as SELCO, to improve rural livelihoods of adults while also providing the capacity for growth and opportunities for future generations.

Blog entry by Alana Helin


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