I ran accross this article today and thought it would of interest to the PulseWire community.
I find it incredibly inspiring to read about these women in Chile's Atacama dessert who have been trained as "solar engineers" in order to bring and maintain solar energy in their villages. The project exemplifies some really essential issues to keep in mind in international development programs: developing initiatives that target women specifically, understanding that there is a difference between charity and true empowerment, emphasizing non-destructive and sustainable development, recognizing that rural/indigenous communities can produce well-versed engineers, and perhaps most importantly (in my line of work) acknowledging the value of and utilizing South-South networks to share best practices and build global communities.
I realize that no doubt not everything is "rainbows and butterflies" in this project, but I do think it's an important step in the right direction http://www.ipsnews.net/2013/03/native-women-bring-solar-energy-to-chiles...
If anyone has any comments/observations, I'd love to discuss!