The Barefoot Grandmother Who Brought Electricity To A Borneo Village For The First Time

The 40-year-old had never even left her village before..

Tarihing Masanim is an illiterate grandmother of nine from rural Borneo. The 40-year-old recently brought electricity to her village, Sonsogon Magandai, for the first time.

Tarihing became the region’s first Solar Engineer after taking a six month-long course in India - despite having never even left her village before.

She now electrifies all 100 households in her community through a solar power workshop.

Originally a rubber-tapper, Tarihing had never seen an aeroplane before she flew to the Barefoot College in India. The college aims to empower communities around the world through training unskilled, illiterate women, challenging both age and gender barriers.

She returned to her community to put her new skills to use in engineering and maintaining solar power systems, which were provided by Sabah Women Entrepreneurs & Professionals Association (SWEPA), and constructed by Raleigh International volunteers.

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