Tula Goenka, Associate Professor of Television-Radio-Film at SU’s Newhouse School, is also a social activist that connected our ERE program as a sponsor for the film, Rafea: Solar Mama, by directors Mona Eldaief and Jehane Noujaim. The film is about training illiterate Middle Eastern women in India as solar engineers so these empowered women will bring needed electrical power and services to their remote villages. The story appeals to our ERE engineering – they are dedicated to such projects, often called humanitarian engineering or development engineering, and they use their engineering, natural resources, and social skill sets to address critical social and environmental needs, such as bringing water security and energy security to remote villages.
The film Rafea: Solar Mama is enchantingly outlined by the film’s directors as follows: “Rafea is a Bedouin woman who lives with her four daughters in one of Jordan’s poorest desert villages. She is given a chance to attend the Barefoot College in India, where illiterate women from around the world are trained in six months to become solar engineers. If Rafea succeeds, she will be able to electrify her village, train more engineers, and provide for her daughters. Even when she returns as Jordan’s first female solar engineer, she faces the challenge of empowering other women to join her in the struggle to rewire the traditions of the Bedouin community that stand in their way. ” A trailer is available at the film’s website.
Catch this film on Thursday, September 26, in the Joyce Hergenhan Auditorium, Newhouse 3, at 7pm. It is 75 min long in Arabic and English with English subtitles. it will be followed by a Q&A with director Mona Eldaief.