Why Poverty? Solar Mamas

Why Poverty? Solar Mamas



Rafea Anad is a 32-year-old mother of four from a Bedouin village in Jordan. Her life is about to change beyond her imagining when she is chosen to go to the Barefoot College in India — along with 25 other women from around the world — to learn how to be a solar engineer and then take her skills home.

It’s a fraught few months — she’s being emotionally blackmailed by her oaf of a husband — but the chance to expand her horizons is impossible to resist. It’s a brilliant exploration of female empowerment (although some credit must go to the “Mr Smooth” government fixer who keeps faith with Rafea) and quite riveting viewing, both cheering and powerfully moving.


Documentary by the Storyville team, exploring why women from poor communities across the world are making the life-changing decision to train as solar engineers in Rajasthan, India. The programme follows Rafea, a mother-of-four from Jordan, who has limited opportunities as the wife of a Bedouin in the desert. Learning about electrical components, circuit boards and soldering means she will be able to undertake complicated engineering tasks at home - but how will her patriarchal husband react? Part of Why Poverty? season.