11 Oct 2019

Hogan Lovells barefoot in the desert

Firm's social responsibility partnership training rural women in India is to feature at Dubai expo 2020.


Hogan Lovells has revealed that their partnership with Barefoot College, an Indian hybrid social enterprise, has been selected from over 1,100 submissions to be featured at Expo 2020, the upcoming world exhibition in Dubai, UAE.

“Solar Mamas”

The firm says its shared value partnership with Barefoot College will be one of 25 “global best practice programmes” showcased at Expo 2020. The partnership, works with Barefoot College to train rural women in solar engineering, entrepreneurship, environmental stewardship and financial and digital literacy, through their 20,000 Suns project. It was selected for providing a simple, effective, local and scalable solution to one of the world’s biggest challenges. By giving rural communities easy, affordable access to clean, renewable power, the partnership’s “Solar Mamas” allow these communities to become self-reliant, while also boosting employment and income for both women and communities. The partnership has trained over 380 women from over 35 countries, and has seen 99 lawyers provide 1,300 hours of pro bono advice, enabling Barefoot College to open four new training centres in Africa, Latin America, and the Pacific.

Empowering women

Hogan Lovells’ Dubai office recently played an instrumental part in the solar electrification of over 2,000 homes in Afghanistan, Cameroon, Mali, Senegal, Somalia, Syria, Jordan, Burkina Faso, and Malaysia by advising on a grant from a prominent multilateral development bank and Dubai Islamic Bank which has financially supported 48 new “Solar Mamas” from these countries, bringing light to 12,500 people. Imran Mufti, citizenship partner, Dubai, said of the selection “We are delighted that our partnership with Barefoot College has been recognised as one of the global best practice programmes at Expo 2020. The 20,000 Suns project and the Solar Mamas are a remarkable force for change within their local rural communities. With millions of visitors scheduled to visit Dubai for Expo 2020, their outstanding work will be showcased on a truly global scale.” Mr Mufti said the Hogan Lovells partnership with Barefoot College empowers women “to bring sustainable electricity to their homes, and bring lasting knowledge to their communities.”