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Why I Walk Barefoot – An Unordinary School Empowering Women To Power The World

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In a quiet classroom forty empty chairs await their students. A blackboard, dusty with chalk, takes up one wall; directly opposite a world map flutters in the dry desert breeze from an open window. Sunlight streams in from the doorframe, as the students begin to take their places around a long trestle table.

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This is not your everyday classroom. And these are not your everyday students.

This is The Barefoot College, an NGO which aims to empower rural communities to become sustainable and self-sufficient by creating Rural Solar Engineers.

Solar Engineering Class of 2015 / 11 countries, 36 women.

The Purpose

To return home and illuminate their own villages!

1.6 Billion people in the world do not have access to light at night. (Photojournalist: Lar Bolands)

Without renewable energy the poorest populations must plunder limited resources to provide a single flame of light for their families. Many nights, they are left in the dark without the ability to capitalize on hours after sunset. This means that because most developing regions work during the day, adults and children alike lose out on opportunities at night for education, recreation or development.

Village Chief has given his blessings to these four Togolese Mamas who will return in 6 months to solar electrify the community. (Photojournalist: Lar Bolands)

Most of the women in class concentrate on their work for the day (today they’re soldering circuit boards) but on my visit Lucy, from Cameroon, smiles and leans forward to shake my hand. Sitting at the head of the table nearby is Maria, a Solar Mama from Bolivia. Her story is one of pure inspiration – she travelled alone for 2000 miles on her first trip away from her family of ten children and two grandchildren. Now she shares a dorm with two Ecuadorian Mamas, Patricia & Estella, who look up to her as their own mother figure – “We could not do this without her” they say.

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Patricia, Maria & Estella (Left to Right)

The notion that grandmothers, with no prior engineering skills (and very limited formal education), can electrify whole villages seems, at first, untenable. But after five minutes in this diverse classroom I can’t imagine a more simple and compelling idea. Barefoot College gives these women the opportunity to escape the dogmas of their previous societies and live more freely. Allowing them the space and time to find their true potential.

“Anyone, regardless of gender, caste or age, can become empowered to learn new skills.” – Gordhan, Solar Trainer

The Method

“Learning by doing. Doing by learning.” – The Barefoot College Way

From South Sudan to Myanmar, Togo to Panama, from 68 different countries around the world “Solar Mamas” (as they are affectionately known) have been chosen by their communities, given their first passport and leave their homes and families behind for the first time in their lives to begin a transformative journey in rural Rajasthan, India, where the Barefoot College Campus is based.

The students? Illiterate grandmothers from non-electrified villages around the world, training to become Solar Engineers.

How do they learn? Incredibly, because none of the Mamas can read or speak a common language, all teaching is done through symbols, photographs, sign language and repeated practice for six months. Barefoot College demands that a lack of formal education should not stop these women from unleashing their true potential!

Lucy Ndip, Solar Mama from Cameroon has 8 children and completed 6th grade schooling.

My first visit to the Solar Training Centre was an awe-inspiring one. Greeted by a cacophony of noise, the Solar Mamas rang out welcomes in ten different languages – “Hola!” “Namaste!” “Maayong Buntag!” “Bonjour!” “Habari!” Their ambition fills the room with an air that gives me strength.

http://valhallamovement.com/blog/2014/11/27/walk-barefoot/

“The concept works great practically, now lets see if the academics can make it work theoretically.” – His Holiness the IVX Dalai Lama, visited in 2012

The Proof

Togolese Solar Mamas return home and stand outside a clinic which they are about to solar electrify. (Photojournalist: Lar Bolands)

Solar Mama, Mialo Tassi on her way to erect Solar Panels for a small village home in Agome Sevah, Togo. (Photojournalist: Lar Bolands)

Since its inception in 2008, graduates of the Solar Engineering programme have electrified 1015 villages in 68 countries, changing the lives of 500,000 villagers. Using the practical skills gained at Barefoot, the Solar Mamas can light homes, schools and hospitals, and will maintain and repair lamps and panels for up to five years. However, the Solar Mama’s journey does not end solely with the acquisition of practical skills and techniques.

Togolese Solar Mama Class of 2014 (Photojournalist: Lar Bolands)

While on campus the women absorb each other’s diversity, grow in confidence and realize their potential as leaders within their own communities. When returning home they spread the necessity of female empowerment, the harnessing of traditional knowledge and rural techniques, and the goal of equal education for all.

Togolese Solar Mamas successfully install Solar System making their village clinic off-grid. (Photojournalist: Lar Bolands)

Perhaps the most important aspect of the Barefoot College programme is not only that women learn to electrify their villages. But that the Solar Mamas who graduate become shining beacons of lights themselves, going on to further inspire and empower a new generation of women with no limitations.

Togolese Solar Mamas teach women from other villages how to become Solar Engineers, spreading light both spiritually & physically. (Photojournalist: Lar Bolands)

As a new visitor to Barefoot College, I am overwhelmed and inspired by the determination of each of the Solar Mamas. By taking the astounding step to leave their communities and learn a completely new trade, they prove that it is not certificates, grades or job titles that count. Instead, what truly matters is having the courage to make a change, create new solutions and affect the world positively.

Join The Barefoot College Team, Create More Autonomous Villages Around the Rural World


<Lar Bolands documentation was funded by the Simon Cumbers Media Fund & Irish Aid>

<Article written by Amy Quinn>

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Ex Deputy Assistant Defense Secretary of Intelligence For The United States Speaks Out About UFOs

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    A former High Ranking federal government employee, Christopher Mellon, is writing a lot about the reality of UFOs and the need to study the phenomenon.

  • Reflect On:

    Has this phenomenon not already been studied, in secrecy, for decades? Why doesn't Mellon ever address that fact?

If there is one thing that’s glaringly obvious, it’s that Unidentified Flying Objects (UFOs), or Unidentified Ariel phenomenon, are real. This is evident by hundreds of military encounters that have been documented for decades. Complimenting these encounters is a plethora of radar tracking data, photographs, and videos.

Although once deemed a “conspiracy theory,” similar to how mass surveillance was until that was exposed by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, that’s not the case anymore.

This in large part came from all of the activists in the field sharing information about UFOs in a very credible manner. It also came from recent happenings within the mainstream, when major mouthpieces for the establishment like The New York Times and Washington Post covered the topic of UFOs.

One of the writers of those pieces was Christopher Mellon, who served 30 years in the federal government and was Deputy Assistant Defense Secretary for Intelligence from 1997  to 2002 and in security and information operations from 1998 to 1999. From 2002 to 2004, he was Minority Staff Director of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence under Sen. John Rockefeller IV (D-W.Va.).

Mellon’s Washington post article detailed a number of UFO encounters with the military with extreme credibility. But again, this isn’t new information. In the 1950s, President Harry Truman went on national television announcing to the world that UFOs are real, and that they discuss the topic at every conference that they have with the military, that “there’s always things like that going on, flying saucers and they’ve had other things.” (source)

The secrecy wrapped around this subject has been active for more than 100 years.

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In Mellon’s latest article for The Hill, Mellon states that:

Congress need do at this juncture is require the secretary of Defense and the director of national intelligence to review the UAP issue and deliver a report providing a comprehensive assessment. This report should include not only an estimate of the situation but a description of the structure and processes required to ensure effective collection and analysis going forward.

He goes on to stress the importance of further study of what’s going on here, hinting that they could be Russian objects, which in my opinion is a ridiculous assumption. He also hints to the fact that they could be extraterrestrial by stating that:

If UAPs turn out to be toys of Elon Musk’s making, we’ll all breathe a sigh of relief. If they are Russian, we’ll be glad we took action now rather than kicking the can down the road. If we learn that someone else’s more advanced version of our Voyager spacecraft has reached Earth, then this humble measure will forever transform our understanding of the universe and man’s place within it.

What’s Fishy About Mainstream Coverage of UFOs

Mellon is one of hundreds of “high-ranking” people who have been outspoken about this phenomenon. He’s even part of the team at To The Stars Academy, which was started by former Blink 182 Rockstar to bring the truth about UFOs into the mainstream in a credible way. On that team is a very impressive list of people including Steve Justice, the recently retired Director of the Aerospace division at Lockheed Martin.

In a quote on their website, he basically alludes to the point that these UFOs have been ‘collected’ somehow, which is evident by him stating that “we need to harvest these technologies from the Science Division to realize that capability.”

“This is a concept for an international point-to-point transportation craft that will erase the current travel limits of distance and time.  It mimics the capabilities observed in unidentified aerial phenomenon by employing a drive system that alters space-time metric. We have glimpses of how the physics of this works, but we need to harvest technologies from the Science Division to ‘realize’ the capability.”  – Steve Justice, Aerospace Division Director

Now, the reason why mainstream disclosure is so fishy is because we already have a a plethora of extremely credible sources emphasizing that we already know many of these objects are extraterrestrial. Take Norman Bergrun, for example, a mechanical engineer who has worked for Ames Research Laboratory, NACA (National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics), and Lockheed Missiles and Space Company (now known as Lockheed Martin). He then went on to found Bergrun Engineering and Research. When he talked about extraterrestrials, I listened. As explained in the article linked, he spoke of numerous encounters with UFOs, and even extraterrestrials that the government has had, and that these objects are known to be real within various circles.

Mellon never addressed that or how, as Paul Hellyer, former Canadian Defence Minister stated, the official policy is to “shoot first and ask questions after.” (source)

Not long ago, Dr. David Clarke, an investigative journalist, reader and lecturer at Sheffield Hallam University in England who was also the curator for The National Archives UFO project from 2008–13, uncovered documents showing how British intelligence has been desperate to ‘take down’ these objects and figure out how they work. You can read more about that here.

Evidence proving that objects have been successfully taken down is a completely different subject, but as Edgar Mitchell (Apollo 14) told the world, “yes there have been crashed crafts, and bodies recovered.” (source)

Furthermore, government disclosure has always been subject to deception and misinformation, often being used in some manner to ‘trick’ the population into justifying a specific solution or action step. Are UFOs going to be the same thing? Is mainstream UFO disclosure something for us to be wary of and take with a grain of salt?

All important things to think about, for sure.

The Takeaway

The disclosure of a reality that’s been hidden from us throughout all of history would be huge. It would leave no aspect of humanity untouched, have huge implications, and really open up pandora’s box. There are a lot of questions to be answered, and a lot of information is still going unacknowledged by these mainstream articles. However, so far they’ve done a decent job of bringing it out in a credible way, but where do they want to take it? If these objects present some sort of “threat,” a narrative that also seems to be common amongst recent mainstream UFO disclosure, are they simply going to use that to justify the weaponization of space? There are so many questions. Although some of them could pose a threat, if you’ve looked into this topic, it seems that these objects are harmless and have probably been around longer than we have. If any type of doomsday scenario was going to occur, it probably would have already happened.

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Our Hearts Are Broken: They Are Not Only Censoring Julian Assange, But Collective Evolution As Well

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Not only Julian Assange, but journalists and media outlets around the world are being heavily censored. Not only is their content being censored, but their revenue streams have been taken away.

  • Reflect On:

    Why is this happening? What ever happened to the freedom of information and the freedom of speech? What's really going on here?

What’s happening to media today is both heartbreaking and crazy, and we’re not sure how many people are actually aware of the Orwellian-type of censorship that’s currently taking place in our world. When it comes to geopolitics, things have become quite clear within the past few years. There is a general consensus among many political leaders and academics that, for a long time, there has been a deliberate manipulation of the opinions of the masses, and the individuals behind this “unseen mechanism, constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power” of global geopolitics. Our minds are “molded, our tastes formed” and our ideas are “suggested, largely by men we have never heard of.” (Edward Bernays)

One of the ways in which this manipulation was accomplished was through mainstream media; however, thanks to the birth of social media, mainstream media was no longer the only voice being heard. In fact, outlets like Collective Evolution began reaching tens of millions of people per month, overshadowing many popular mainstream media outlets.

Now, Collective Evolution has been censored by “the ministry of truth.” This ministry is made up of pharmaceutical companies and funders like Bill Gates, and is overseen by the Atlantic Council, which has ties to the Council on Foreign Relations. We recently wrote about one of these ‘fact checkers’ called NewsGuard.

What’s happening here is the censorship of information that threatens various corporate and political interests. This information gained the attention of the masses simply because it was presented in a credible way that often couldn’t be countered. Julian Assange is a great example, as he has been ‘scooped’ up by ‘the powers that be,’ not because he threatens national security interests, but because for more than a decade he’s been exposing the lies, deceit and corruption that plague geopolitics. Recently, Assange was hit with another 17 criminal charges under the Espionage Act, as a federal grand jury in Virginia returned a brand new indictment that added 17 more charges to the original charge Assange was handed in March 2018. You can read more about that story here.

NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden reacted on Twitter, stating that “The Department of Justice just declared war – not on Wikileaks, but on journalism itself. This is no longer about Julian Assange: This case will decide the future of media.” This statement is true.

The only reason some people may support the arrest of Assange is simple: brainwashing. The establishment still has a grip on the consciousness of many people with regards to several different topics, and as a result, they are able to justify their actions. Thankfully, with every year that passes, more people seem to be ‘waking up’ to what’s really going on here.

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Below is the response from Wikileaks about the most recent indictment against Assange via their Facebook Page.

What Happened To Us Here At Collective Evolution & Why We’re Hoping CETV Does Well

What happened to us here at Collective Evolution is not much different. Our revenue streams have been taken away, our Youtube account has been demonetized, and our Facebook page has been censored and its reach has been restricted. Thus, tens of thousands of dollars per month have been taken away from us, money that was crucial in helping us do what we do. It’s simple: The best way for the global elite to continue their war on information is to take away the revenue streams of those who are putting it out there. This has been heartbreaking for us, as we have had to layoff several of our employees, making our jobs more difficult.

It’s insane to go from watching your platform have twenty million people on it per month, to then all of a sudden have social media giants like Facebook, which has become a revolving door of government employees, restrict your page. Even Google’s getting in on the censorship. When this happened around the time of the 2016 elections and Collective Evolution was accused of working for the Russian government, our views dropped nearly 100 percent.

This is a huge violation of human rights. We are living in a world where our rights are being taken away without anybody even noticing.

The only thing we could do was create CETV.  This is a platform where we are supported by YOU, the people who enables us to continue doing what we do.

CETV is a platform where we have exclusive interviews, original shows and how-to guides, with new content being added every week! You can access it from desktop or mobile, FireTV, Roku, iOS, Android and AppleTV.

Soon, we’ll be adding CE Connect to the mix, where you can work directly with us to create journalism and get involved in changing the world through action and inner change. You can become a member of CETV here. 

Mainstream media is funded by the government, intelligence agencies, and corporations. And yes, there is proof in support of that, which you can read more about here. It’s time to have more platforms that are able to openly discuss and share information without having to worry about censorship or being on the radar of mainstream media.

Here are 5 Reasons to subscribe to CETV.

This is now our only hope for survival before we are completely erased from the internet by the powers that be. So for those of you who are supporting us, we thank you for being part of the transparency movement.

The Takeaway

You know something is up when our abilities to simply question information and share information are blocked and prevented from getting out into the world. It’s not really fair that a small group of corporations completely own all media, nor is it fair that they have the power to shut down any other platform that does not suit their interests.

At the end of the day, it’s another ‘event’ that’s simply waking up more people and allowing them to see what’s really going on. However, the fact that it’s being done silently and quietly is quite concerning.

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Why Fantasy-Based Claims Always Crash & Burn: The Big Picture About UFOs & Extraterrestrials

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    One of the world's leading researchers on the topic of UFOs shares why it's important to stick to evidence, as well as evidence that is credible when examining the topic of UFOs and extraterrestrials.

  • Reflect On:

    It's OK to believe something, or have a specific viewpoint, but to share that viewpoint as truth when there is no evidence or corroborating information within this field is irresponsible. Has this field been infiltrated by misinformation campaigns?

There are many great quotes about UFOs and extraterrestrials. One of the most revealing quotes comes from the very first director of the CIA, Roscoe H. Hillenkoetter, who informed people that although UFOs are very real and the Air Force is very concerned with them, there has been an “official campaign of secrecy and ridicule.” (source)

In my opinion, this campaign has permeated the field of UFO research to this day, and it thrives by disseminating information that can’t really be verified or corroborated in any way, and really does nothing but harm when it comes to the credibility and understanding of the topic. There are some ridiculous claims out there, including those made by “whistleblowers” who have no proof to verify who they claim to be.

Meanwhile, in regards to legitimate evidence and credibility, there is a plethora of information one can use in order to see that the topic of UFOs and the potential for extraterrestrial intelligence is a very real and serious issue.

“There is a serious possibility that we are being visited and have been visited for many years by people from outer space, by other civilizations. Who they are, where they are from, and what they want should be the subject of rigorous scientific investigation and not be the subject of ‘rubishing’ by tabloid newspapers.”  –Lord Admiral Hill-Norton, Former Chief of Defence Staff, 5 Star Admiral of the Royal Navy, Chairman of the NATO Military Committee

Apart from statements given by hundreds of people with very credible and interesting backgrounds, we also have pictures, video footage, radar trackings, declassified documents, and much more in support of the UFO/extraterrestrial phenomenon. This type of evidence has existed for decades. For example, here’s a CIA document from decades ago that also cites another incident.

The document states as follows:

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“ANTARCTIC FLYING SAUCERS” – A group of red, green, and yellow flying saucers has been seen flying over Deception Island for two hours by Argentine, Chilean and British bases (military) in Antarctica. The flying saucers were also seen flying in formation over the South Orkney islands in quick circles.”

It’s one of thousands of examples. When it comes to military encounters with UFOs, a good example comes from Iran in 1976 (need correct year!). Two F-4 interceptor pilots reported seeing the object visually, and it was tracked on their airborne radar. Both planes experienced critical instrumentation and electronics went offline at a distance of twenty-five miles from the object. Here is an excerpt from the declassified report:

“As the F-4 approached a range of 25 nautical miles it lost all instrumentation and communications. When the F-4 turned away from the object and apparently was no longer a threat to it, the aircraft regained all instrumentation and communications. Another brightly lighted object came out of the original object. The second object headed straight toward the F4.”   (source)

These are just a few examples showing us that something strange is going on. When it comes to the extraterrestrial hypothesis, it’s vital that we take information from only verified credible sources.

“It is my thesis that flying saucers are real and that they are space ships from another solar system. I think that they possibly are manned by intelligent observers who are members of a race that may have been investigating our Earth for centuries.” –  Herman Oberth, one of the founding fathers of rocketry and aeronautics (source)

Take, for example, Dr. Norman Bergrun, a mechanical engineer who has worked for Ames Research Laboratory, NACA (National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics), and Lockheed Missiles and Space Company (now known as Lockheed Martin). He then went on to found Bergrun Engineering and Research. When he talked about extraterrestrials, I listened. However, when someone with no proof of who they are makes claims that don’t corroborate with any other information, it’s very hard to listen and take them seriously. That’s not the case with Dr. Norman Bergrun.

Below is a video by Richard Dolan, an academic and scholar who happens to be one of the world’s leading researchers on the topic of UFOs. He has many great and informative videos on his youtube channel, which contain some very interesting discussions. One of his latest is titled “Why Fantasy-Based Claims Always Crash & Burn. The Big Picture.”

“The UFO subject is inherently difficult. Assessing the evidence is often a challenge, but one that is necessary. An all-too-common pitfall of the subject is its vulnerability to claims based on fantasy. We can do better. Claims like ascension, or of alleged secret space wars on Mars or time travel and the like, all of these claims without evidence eventually inevitably come crashing down. We watch them rise, we watch them fall. We see them enter our community like a virus, spreading a kind of mental sickness, but then eventually dying out. They have to, because without genuine evidence, any claim is eventually going to be discarded. How can it not be, but in the meantime they enter our lives, confuse our thought processes and cause disruption, they leave us worse off and not better off. And the reason for that is simple, lies and deceptions never make us better. They don’t make us better people, even if some believers in them are well meaning. They don’t make us better because they’re illusions. And also, to continually believe in things without asking for evidence ultimately weakens your mind. Engaging in that kind of mental process over and over corrodes your ability to understand and evaluate actual evidence. It corrodes your analytical and reasoning abilities, you simply give up control of your mind.” (Quote taken from video below)

The Takeaway

I don’t want anybody to be insulted by what Dolan said. When it comes to this topic, it has huge implications and leaves no area of humanity untouched. It’s okay to entertain claims and dive deep into researching people who have claimed to have contact experiences, for example. Dolan does plenty of that in the multiple books he’s written on the topic. Exploration and examination are important, but it’s best to only claim something is a ‘fact’ if it can be verified using evidence, especially when exploring a topic as vast as this one.

When it comes to the implications of this topic, of course there are spiritual implications, technological implications, and broader implications that could change our collective perception of reality. When it comes to ‘good’ and ‘bad,’ of course there could be ‘good’ and ‘bad’ entities, but all we can do for now is explore the evidence. This is not to say that we can’t explore other topics and discuss certain theories and possibilities, but we must make it clear when we are doing so so that others know we are simply speculating. We must ultimately never spread speculation as truth or put a stamp on our claims saying that “this is correct.”

I do believe that all of the answers we seek lie within us, although that may be “spiritual mumbo jumbo” to some. The point is, I will never share my thoughts, feelings and intuitive beliefs as ‘facts’ about the UFO/extraterrestrial phenomenon, and if I do share my beliefs, I will always make it clear that I am sharing something I cannot provide evidence for. However, I don’t like to do that with regards to UFOs because I prefer to share factual, evidence-based information. I am on a mission to reach as many people on the planet as I can to let them know that this is something that demands our attention. The only way to do that is to provide evidence, and there is more than enough of that. I also believe very few people have access to the “answers within,” simply because we’ve never been taught how to listen to that voice and we are overloaded with sensory experiences from the day we are born. But that’s another topic!

Thanks for reading.

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