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Multiple communities, Zimbabwe

In early 1996 Solar Cookers International (SCI) was invited by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to submit a proposal to provide training and solar cookers to communities in Zimbabwe. SCI proposed a project that would create self-sustaining spread of solar cookers in Zimbabwe through small commercial businesses.

The proposal was accepted, and in June 1996 SCI trained 50 pilot families in each of two communities: Epworth, near Harare, and Ntabazinduna, near Bulawayo. After several weeks of practice, ten enthusiastic solar cooks from each community were chosen to receive additional training and become solar cooking trainers.

With seed funding from UNESCO, several thousand CooKits were manufactured in Zimbabwe. The new trainers began promoting and selling solar cookers in early 1997. Over the next two years, these 20 women led workshops, sold CooKits, and made follow-up home visits to answer questions and monitor progress. Many additional communities requested solar cooker projects, but insufficient funding and instability in the country were limiting factors. The communities of Zvimba, Chitungwiza, Gutu, Matapos, and Plumtree all received trainings and supplies.

By the end of 1999, more than 3200 CooKits had been purchased from the trainers. However, social, political and economic factors (curfews, fuel rationing, political violence, and restrictions on meetings to name a few) were hindering project implementation activities.

Having provided funds, educational materials, and technical assistance throughout the project, SCI ended its direct involvement in the project in 2002.

The project was coordinated locally by the University of Zimbabwe’s Development Technology Center (DTC), in partnership with several smaller community-based organizations and the Zimbabwe Department of Energy. Local Rotarians and Girl Guides have provided additional financial and training support in Ntabazinduna, and eventually took over management there and in surrounding communities.

As of 2005 over 20000 CooKits have been sold in Zimbabwe.



Links to articles about these efforts:


Related topics

»   Education resources
»   Humanitarian assistance
»   Advocacy

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