SUNSPOTS Winter Solstice 2010
Social stigma due to Diana's blindness oppressed her for years. Then she was taught how to solar cook and everything changed. Solar cooking has saved Diana money, improved her family's health, and increased her standing in the community. "My status in this village has changed completely," she writes. "My neighbors now believe that disability is not inability. The entire community now respects me." In fact, Diana is seen as the local resource for solar cooking and she is now teaching others how to solar cook.
Diana continues, "I used to spend 60 shillings everyday in buying firewood. When I use my solar cooker, I save half of that money. This amount goes into buying food for my family. The foods that I frequently solar cook are sukuma wiki, rice, tea, omena and ugali. I also pasteurize water and store it in a safe water pot. This way the children can not dip their hands into the pot and the water stays clean. As a result, the frequent waterborne diseases that used to affect my family are gone."
Each time you contribute to SCI you are helping people like Diana realize their dreams beyond what they thought possible.
In response to the earthquake, SCI partnered with International Child Care Ministries, Programme Energie Solaire and members of the Solar Cooking World Network (SCWNet) to expand upon nearly 20 years of solar cooking in Haiti. With help from SCWNet member Paul Munsen, SCI was able to send 200 CooKits, pots and water pasteurization indicators (WAPIs) to the community of Pigeon, Haiti. In April, 135 earthquake survivors participated in two days of solar cooker training conducted by Haitian members of Programme Energie Solaire. Each participant received a CooKit, a pot and a WAPI.
In August, seven school teachers were trained by Haitian trainers and certified by Solar Cookers International (SCI) to teach solar cooking. As part of a new SCI initiative, these teachers intend to incorporate solar cooking principles and techniques into the fifth-grade science curriculum of nationally-recognized Haitian schools run by International Child Care Ministries. With your donations, SCI has already provided 200 CooKits, pots and WAPIs for four schools. This incredible opportunity to reach students in their classrooms and create a new habit with solar cooking technology will be accomplished in as soon as three years with your continued support.
I advised him to turn the students into scientists and innovators by taking a comprehensive integrated-curriculum approach. I recommended researching solar cooker models on the Solar Cooking Archive Wiki, constructing two or three that could be made from local materials or combining existing ideas to come up with a new model, and running comparative tests to see which one worked best. The Eldoret Students Solar Cookers Science Pilot Project was born.
Camily and 20 students put their heads together and got to work. By thinking creatively, then critically, they came up with a new panel-type solar cooker that outperformed two others in comparative testing. They call it the Panel Stove Cooker. The students were excited about their new cooker and each wanted to make one to take home. Thanks to my generous friends, family and some of our local Moscow (Idaho) Farmer's Market vendors and shoppers, modest funds were raised to pay for supplies so the students could make 20 durable, plywood solar cookers.
I am so proud of Camily and the team! All students have now taken Panel Stove Cookers home to the camps where they live, benefitting their entire families. Each student received a black cooking pot and requisite transparent oven bag, as well as a notebook and pen so that they can continue to keep records of their cooking progress and experiments. This project generated considerable community interest. Adults are showing a renewed interest in solar cooking, and more students want to sign up for projects if funding can be secured for supplies.
Click here to view an album of photos from this project.
The stellar success of the this solar cookers science pilot project was in large part made possible by the wealth of information in the Solar Cooking Archive Wiki, maintained by Solar Cookers International staff and volunteers.
SCI Board Member
SCI in the News
Sacramento Press | August 2010
|Support SCI Order Products SCI Programs Solar Cooking Basics|