World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz recently singled out SHE’s HotPot solar oven as an example of a product that “helps poor people seize the opportunities they need to transform their lives and to create better futures for their children.”Speaking at World Bank headquarters at the May 8th, 2006 awards ceremony for the latest round of “development marketplace” grant winners (SHE won such a grant for work in Mexico that began in 2004), Wolfowitz noted that some grant winners like SHE “have gone on to achieve remarkable results,” citing SHE’s HotPot project in Mexico as one of two “interesting examples” worthy of mention.
Noting that one-third of the world’s population still relies on firewood for cooking, and that sufficient sunlight exists in 67 countries to facilitate solar cooking, Wolfowitz told the Washington gathering that SHE Inc. “brought those two facts together to make an affordable, efficient, healthier solution, a solar oven they call the HotPot.”
SHE’s World Bank development marketplace grant financed the recruitment and training in Mexico of NGO personnel and independent distributors who in turn trained users. Some 1,500 HotPots were sold and distributed to users in several rural Mexican communities through the project. SHE and its principal Mexican partner, the Fondo Mexicano para la Conservacion de la Naturaleza (FMCN) have maintained efforts to promote solar cooking in Mexico.
Subsequent grant support from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Alcoa Foundation have financed ongoing operations in Mexico. The EPA grant has focused on analyzing solar cooking’s potential for reducing indoor air pollution.
Wolfowitz praised SHE for having “expanded operations” to additional countries. “As a result, poor and rural populations in these countries now have access to a less-expensive, healthier and more environmentally friendly cooking operation,” he said.