Dear Friend of Solar Household Energy:
Our efforts to bring life-saving and environmentally friendly solar cooking technology to the world continue on many fronts, thanks to your support. Much has happened since our last update. Here are some highlights:
The United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) commissioned Solar Household Energy to test acceptance of the HotPotTM solar oven in the Gaga refugee camp in eastern Chad. It shelters 20,000 people from Darfur in Western Sudan. Patrick Fourrier, a French solar cooking expert affiliated with Bolivia Inti Sud Soleil, completed the first phase of the project last month. Pictured below is one of the fifty women who received training. Patrick will return to Chad in two months to assess the initial level of acceptance of solar cooking. He will also ensure that local support systems set in place to encourage continued use of the solar ovens are working effectively.
A resident of the Gaga refugee camp in Chad displays the new
HotPot she received in a Solar Household Energy/ UNHCR project.
Meanwhile, SHE has begun a cooperative relationship with Grupo Jaragua, a highly respected non-governmental organization in the Dominican Republic, to support a solar cooking initiative in that country. Grupo is aided by a Dominican eco-tourism and solar cooking advocate El Fuego del Sol, which conducts the local assembly and subsidized sale of Sun Oven box cookers in rural communities near the Haitian border. We are also supporting The Nature Conservancy’s office in the Dominican Republic to add integrated cooking as a component of their reforestation project in Haiti. Integrated cooking combines solar ovens, fuel-efficient stoves and retained heat cooking devices. Making it part of a reforestation project helps to prevent the cutting of wood for fuel and charcoal that originally contributed to the deforestation.
She is working to expand the solar cooking promotion efforts it undertook in Mexico with the Mexican Fund for the Conservation of Nature (FMCN) begun in 2004. That effort received seed funding from the World Bank’s Development Marketplace program. At the World Bank’s request, we are participating in Phase II of Development Marketplace in which they are seeking outside investors for projects. SHE is again partnering with FMCN on a project that will: 1) evaluate our prior efforts in Mexico, and 2) fund an FMCN-lead comprehensive “sustainable rural kitchens” project in many communities located near protected areas.
Women in Cuauhtemoc, Mexico, participated in a project
pioneered in 2004 by FMCN and Solar Household Energy.
We have also been active in the areas of solar cooking advocacy, research and technology development. On the public education front, SHE founding director Dar Curtis is participating as a contributing member of the Technology and Fuels Working Group of the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves. This alliance of governments, corporations and nonprofits is promoting cleaner cooking solutions than the open cooking fires and inefficient cookstoves used by three billion people around the world. Solar provides the very cleanest cooking of all cookstoves.
SHE co-founder Louise Meyer represented SHE, Inc. at the 5TH forum of EPA’s Partnership for Clean Indoor Air in Lima, Peru, in February. This biennial gathering attracts clean cooking experts, advocates and government officials from around the globe.
Solar Household Energy manned an exhibit at the “Power Shift 2011” event, held in Washington, D.C. in April. This Conference attracted some 10,000 enthusiastic college students interested in alternative energy solutions and climate change together from around the country. SHE made many new friends.
On the research front, SHE commissioned an effort by Energy Laboratories, Inc., inventor of the “Morningstar” hinged aluminum reflector, to develop an equally powerful but less expensive design. Preliminary testing is encouraging.
SHE has also provided support to a graduate student at Georgia Tech who has been researching the feasibility of micro-lending to finance acquisition of solar cooking devices in the developing world.
Guiding all of these efforts is SHE’s Board of Directors. Our newest member is Cora Shaw, who recently retired from a successful career as an agricultural economist and land-use expert at the World Bank.
Virtually all of SHE’s work is carried out by volunteers. We have immediate needs for volunteer support for several activities. Some of the areas of expertise that we could use are: mobile devices; research assistance; resource development; small business; grant writing, graphic arts, visual media and copywriting. Click here for more information on Solar Household Energy’s current volunteer needs and how you can help or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Even with our valued volunteer support, funds are required to maintain and expand our activities to promote solar cooking and get it into the households around the world that can benefit from it the most. New requests for solar cooking projects and assistance are increasing, and we need your donations to help ensure that every group that requests it is able to benefit from solar cooking. We encourage you to continue (or begin) your tax-deductible support by mailing us a check to Solar Household Energy (at P.O. Box 15063, Chevy Chase, MD 20815 USA) or by donating online at www.she-inc.org. Gifts received by May 31 will help us qualify for additional funding. We thank you for your interest, your support and your ideas. Please don’t hesitate to email us for any reason.