July 2009
Volume 15, Numbe
r 2
Paper Circulation: 12,000 – Online hits:  Hit Counter

Back Issues: http://solarcooking.wikia.com/scr
Email: infosolarcookers.org

In this Issue:


Solar cooking trainer Kiné Seck demonstrates how to use the HotPot as part of the Senegal Solar Cooking Initiative.

News you send

[Editor's note: E-mail your news items to info@solarcookers.org or via postal mail to Kevin Porter, Solar Cookers International, 1919 21st Street #101, Sacramento, California 95811-6827, USA. We want to hear from you — especially if your program is growing or if your work has not been featured in the Solar Cooker Review before. Please include your contact information. Submissions are subject to editing if printed.]


The Gambia

Reports in the Daily Observer newspaper indicate that Gambian President Yahya Jammeh is aware of solar cookers and has discussed solar cooker use in his country. During a 2008 meeting with representatives of Motech Industries, Inc., a leading solar power company based in Taiwan, Jammeh expressed his support for solar energy use, including his desire that “98% of provincial schools have solar power so that they can link to the Internet.” In response to a question from the reporter, Jammeh mentioned that solar cookers are very much a possibility for his country as well.


Solar cooking trainer Kiné Seck demonstrates how to use the HotPot as part of the Senegal Solar Cooking Initiative
Solar cooking trainer Kiné Seck demonstrates how to use the HotPot as part of the Senegal Solar Cooking Initiative
Through the Senegal Solar Cooking Initiative, project partners Solar Household Energy, Inc. (SHE) and Tostan will train and equip 2,000 families with HotPot solar cookers. Dozens of villages are participating in the project, and are sending groups of three representatives to be trained. A point person from each village is selected, and is responsible for conducting local demonstrations, distributing HotPots, answering questions, and offering advice. A regional trainer offers further support as needed. Foods that are solar cooked at the demonstrations include fish, rice, beans, millet porridge, and cakes. By mid-2008, 1,000 HotPots had been distributed in the Thies region and 350 in the Kaolack region. The remaining HotPots are slated for the Touba region. Contact: Solar Household Energy, Inc., P.O. Box 15063, Chevy Chase, Maryland 20815, USA. E-mail: she-inc.org, Web: she-inc.org; Tostan, BP 29371, Dakar-Yoff, Senegal. Web: http://tostan.org


Large, sturdy solar box cookers manufactured by local craftsman are being distributed in Mékhé
Large, sturdy solar box cookers manufactured by local craftsman are being distributed in Mékhé
Through a partnership with GEN Senegal, the Association pour la promotion des femmes de Mékhé (ASPROFEM) is implementing a two-year solar cooker project in the Mékhé districts of MBambara, Lébou and Ndiop. The project is funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) Small Grants Programme, which is implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). The goal of the project is to help preserve trees through the use of solar energy as an alternative to firewood. With the help of several local craftsmen, solar cookers will be manufacturer in each of the three districts under the direction of cooker designer Abdoulaye Toure. Each district will have approximately 10 trainers to raise awareness in the community, teach solar cooking skills, and distribute solar cookers. One hundred solar cookers were distributed in Ndiop during the pilot phase of the project. The second phase of the project began last year and runs through the end of 2009. Contact Abdoulaye Toure by e-mail: ablayetoure@yahoo.fr

Senegal / Belgium

Villagers near Djoudj National Park will not have to spend as much time collecting firewood if they regularly use solar cookers
Villagers near Djoudj National Park will not have to spend as much time collecting firewood if they regularly use solar cookers
Natuur.koepel vzw has launched a multi-year solar cooker project called Sol Suffit in eight villages surrounding Senegal’s Djoudj National Park. Between December 2007 and May 2008 about 400 women were trained in the use of the solar CooKit. During this time, village chiefs and elders were also given CooKit demonstrations, and several women were selected as representatives for their respective villages. In November, Natuur.koepel vzw demonstrated solar cooking at a music festival near Dakar that garnered a lot of local press for the project. By the end of February 2009, Sol Suffit had obtained workshop space and had enough supplies to produce 1,000 CooKits. The CooKits are being sold to villagers at a subsidized price of € 1.50 each, plus an additional € 1.50 for a black cooking pot if needed. Contact: Natuur.koepel vzw, Watermolenstraat 69B, 8500 Kortrijk, Belgium. Tel: 056 362 804, e-mail: cookit@solarcooking.be, Web: http://solarcooking.be


Bangladesh / United Kingdom

“They are hooked!”
“They are hooked!”
Terry Elliott reports that he and his wife Carole have been busy raising solar cooker awareness in the village of Boroudha, where Carole founded the Wear Surma Child Health Clinic in 1992. While at the clinic, the Elliotts became increasingly aware of health problems caused by traditional indoor cooking fires. Children are often burned in these fires, and the smoke causes respiratory illnesses. Firewood is also expensive, whereas solar energy is free. In addition to demonstrations at hotels and in the village, the Elliotts solar cooked a meal of fish, vegetable curry, lentils and rice for several local Rotarians. “To say that the group was impressed is an understatement … they are hooked!” says Elliott. The Rotary Club of Jalalabad in Sylhet has proposed to set up a workshop to manufacture 1,000 solar cookers and hire trainers to teach solar cooking in a number of villages in northeastern Bangladesh. The budget for the project is about UK £6000, and a matching grant may be requested from Rotary International. Contact: Terry Elliott, 16 Launceston Drive, East Herrington, Sunderland, Tyne and Wear, SR3 3QD, United Kingdom. Tel: 0191-5289662, e-mail: terence.elliott@googlemail.com, Web: http://thewearsurmaclinic.com


Joyce Ong Choon Kim explains to a group of Cadets how a transparent, heat-resistant bag maintains cooking temperatures around a dark colored pot
Joyce Ong Choon Kim explains to a group of Cadets how a transparent, heat-resistant bag maintains cooking temperatures around a dark colored pot
A solar cooker course for Girl Guide leaders conducted in 2000 by former Solar Cookers International board member Barby Pulliam is still bearing fruit almost a decade later. Joyce Ong Choon Kim, a lecturer for future Girl Guide leaders known as Cadets, reports that Girl Guide solar cooker promotion is going strong in Malaysia, and that Cadets are well educated in solar cooking skills and teaching methods. “I am glad to note that efforts in promoting solar cooking in Malaysia are very encouraging,” says Kim. “[We have] been advocating the benefits and fun of solar cooking in [Cadet] training courses and camps. … It is hoped that [Cadets] will continue to practice and advocate solar cooking to their students and society at large.” Some highlights from the past year: In April 2008, 270 Cadets and 50 lecturers participated in solar cooking demonstrations for Orang Asli villagers in Kampung Teluk Tongkah; in May 2008, 353 Cadets attended a hands-on solar cooker training in Morib, Selangor Darul Ehsan; during a week-long jamboree in June 2008, hundreds of Cadets participated in a solar cooking course; and 46 lecturers attended a solar cooking workshop in September 2008. Contact Joyce Ong Choon Kim by e-mail: joyceongck@yahoo.com


According to the Bangkok Post newspaper, Sila Sutharat has operated a solar-powered chicken roasting stall in the Muang district of Phetchaburi since 1992. He splits and hangs chickens vertically against a grill that faces hundreds of small concave mirrors reflecting sunlight at the grill and creating heat so intense that the chickens start to smoke in just a few seconds. Sila says he can roast up to 50 1.6-kilogram chickens between the hours of 7 a.m. and 11 a.m., taking just 10-15 minutes each in good sun. (The stall is not open during rain.) Though the reflector array cost 30,000 baht to build, he has no fuel expenses and is able to sell the chickens for 160 baht each. Sila has even received an honorary bachelor’s degree in “production technology” from Phetchaburi Rajabhat University for his inventiveness.


Solar Serve’s parabolic solar cooker is being deployed in the village of Hoa Quy
Solar Serve’s parabolic solar cooker is being deployed in the village of Hoa Quy
With assistance from donors and the help of many volunteers, Vietnam Solar Serve completed construction of its new center in Danang last summer. The center was dedicated in June 2008 at a ceremony attended by over 120 people that included a solar meal prepared by Solar Serve staff and volunteers. The new center will be used for solar cooker construction and storage, training, and research. In cooperation with the Danang University, Solar Serve is working to make the village of Hoa Quy a solar cooking model for the region around Danang and beyond. An initial distribution of several dozen solar box cookers and 20 parabolic cookers has occurred, and, according to Solar Serve, “The locals love it. They are using the solar cookers by themselves and do not need our help anymore. Articles in national and local newspapers appeared and there was also a short local TV report.” Solar Serve has also begun raising awareness in Quang Tri province, and has trained and provided solar cookers to over 40 families. Contact: Nguyen Tan Bich, Trung tam Solar Serve, Lo 24-26 B2.7, TDC Dong Hai, Phuong Hoa Hai, Quan Ngi Hanh Son, Thanh Pho, Danang, Vietnam. Tel: (84) 0511 - 3 967 108, e-mail: solarserve@yahoo.com, Web: http://vietnamsolarserve.org




Jose Albano reports that a government-sponsored solar box cooker workshop conducted by Paulo Araujo was featured on a Globo TV national news broadcast. Contact: Paulo Araujo, Labotario de Energia, Instituto de Tech e Pesq., Universidade Tiradentes, Av. Murilo Dantas, 300, Farolandia, 49032-490, Aracaju, Sergipe, Brazil. E-mail: paulo_mario@unit.br



French personality Jerome Bonaldi introduced several models of solar cookers to a national, prime time television audience during a technology segment on the France 2 network. To view the segment, visit http://youtube.com/watch?v=qRPZ2gg_KBU


Solar Household Energy, Inc.’s Richard Stolz reports that 400 HotPot solar cookers were provided to victims of the floods that ravaged the southern state of Tabasco in late 2007. “In addition to the devastation caused to homes, the floods knocked out Tabasco’s electricity and gas distribution plant. As a result, even after flood waters had receded, many residents had no means of cooking food, particularly when firewood was unavailable.” The HotPots were made available by two of Solar Household Energy, Inc.’s partner organizations, the Mexican Fund for the Conservation of Nature, and International Logistics Solutions, which manufactures HotPots in Mexico. Contact: Solar Household Energy, Inc., P.O. Box 15063, Chevy Chase, Maryland 20815, USA, Web: http://she-inc.org


Ulrich Oehler’s pioneering work in the 1980s inspired a wave of Swiss solar cooking promoters. For many years, Oehler’s house in Basel even served as the country’s main solar cooker information center, maintained by the ULOG group. From 1997 to 2007, the Centre Neuchâtelois de Cuisine Solaire (CNCS) in the small town of Neuchâtel served as the country’s information hub. Visitors could see a variety of solar cooker models or ask questions of the centre’s leader, Michael Götz. In addition to this resource, ULOG group and GloboSol maintain a travelling solar crêperie in which they prepare solar pancakes for music festivals and ecology fairs throughout Switzerland.

A traveling solar crêperie nourishes festival-goers while raising awareness about solar cooking
A traveling solar crêperie nourishes festival-goers while raising awareness about solar cooking
2008 was a year of changes and new opportunities. The information center moved to a prominent location in the international city of Geneva. Götz is thrilled with the location. “Finally we have a room with a shop-window, only a few steps from Geneva’s train station!” Alain Cassani, Annick Steiner, and Yves Ronchetti of the association SOLEMYO manage the shop and information center, conduct solar cooker construction trainings, and schedule solar crêperie events, while Götz, operating as ExSol, works on consulting, education, technical development, and other projects. Contact: SOLEMYO or ExSol, 15, rue des Gares, CH-1201 Geneva, Switzerland. Tel: 0041 22 734 734 0 (Solemyo) or 0041 22 734 734 1 (ExSol), Web: http://cuisinesolaire.com

United Kingdom

A goal of the Sun Catchers Project is to bring village-size solar ovens to institutions in developing countriesPaul Booth writes, “I’ve made a solar funnel cooker out of wood, using old beverage cans — cut open, flattened and then stapled to the wood — as reflectors. They appear durable and weatherproof, and cost nothing. I am achieving temperatures of 95˚C+ during an English winter! I hope this information is of use to other people.”

United States

A goal of the Sun Catchers Project is to bring village-size solar ovens to institutions in developing countries
A goal of the Sun Catchers Project is to bring village-size solar ovens to institutions in developing countries
While studying lemurs in Madagascar, veterinary scientist Rita Riewerts began to develop a passion for humanitarian work. She saw that health care was not readily available and that poverty was rampant. Riewerts later organized a group of medical students to bring medical supplies to remote villagers in Africa. Riewerts and the students were “blown away” by the malnutrition they witnessed, the lack of clean drinking water, and the hours or even days women spent searching for firewood to cook over. Riewerts vowed to help these villagers find solar solutions to these problems. Riewerts returned to Africa again, this time brining along a solar cooker. She traveled through several countries, teaching about solar cooking and demonstrating solar cookers at orphanages and schools. While at an orphanage in Zambia, Riewerts saw a large Villager Sun Oven®. She was “overwhelmed with the excitement of the children who proclaimed they used their oven every day.” Riewerts returned to the United States and formed a nonprofit organization called the Sun Catchers Project (SCP). SCP will work to supply village-size solar ovens to orphanages, schools and hospitals in developing countries; to practice and promote the responsible use of solar energy through integrated cooking; and to improve the health of children and future generations by creating efficient, sustainable cooking methods. SCP will initially work with three African organizations: Usa River Children’s Centre in Usa River, Tanzania; Friends of Mulanje Orphans in Mulanje, Malawi; and Kikunduku Schools Project in Kikunduku, Kenya. Contact: Rita Riewerts, Sun Catchers Project, 212 Taylor Creek Road, Forks of Salmon, California 96031, USA. Tel: 530-320-6629, e-mail: suncatchers.africa@gmail.com, Web: http://suncatchersproject.org

Elementary school students made solar-baked sweet potato fries at the California Agriculture Day celebration
Elementary school students made solar-baked sweet potato fries at the California Agriculture Day celebration
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger enjoys his first taste
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger enjoys his first taste
California’s Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, Food Network celebrity chef Guy Fieri, and state lawmakers were among the hundreds of people to sample solar-baked sweet potato fries at the California Agriculture Day celebration in March 2008. The event was held on the lawn of the state capitol in Sacramento, just a few blocks from the headquarters of Solar Cookers International. The fries were prepared by students from Evergreen Sixth Grade Academy in Paradise, California, and students from Plainfield Elementary School in Woodland, California, using 16 Global Sun Ovens® purchased through a PG&E “Bright Ideas” grant. This program funds environmental projects in schools, and helps students get hands-on experience with renewable energy. As part of the project, Evergreen students sell solar-baked goods to raise funds for solar cooker distribution in Africa. Amy Behlke, a teacher at Evergreen, summarized the day as follows: “Our students were thrilled to serve Governor Schwarzenegger some of our solar-baked fries and tell him about our solar oven project. The students working at the serving table, Jennifer and Serenity, were very professional and did an awesome job talking to the governor, as well as all of the other visitors to our booth. Other students kept an eye on the food as it cooked in the sun and talked to passers-by about how the solar ovens cook food using only energy from the sun. Watching our students educate others about the importance of conservation and renewable energy was a powerful experience!” Solar cooking is usually done in relatively simple solar thermal devices that convert sunlight into heat energy. Stefano’s Solar Powered Pizza in Mill Valley, California, however, “solar cooks” using photovoltaic panels that power electric ovens. In 2004, they installed a 26.5 kilowatt system that generates 100% of their electric needs. Though the system cost $111,000 (after rebates), their monthly electric bill dropped from nearly $1000 per month to less than $10. They expect the system to pay for itself in about nine years, long before the 40-year estimated lifespan is reached. Contact: Stefano’s Solar Powered Pizza, 11 East Blithedale Avenue, Mill Valley, California 94941, USA. Tel: (415) 383-9666, e-mail: info@stefanosolarpizza.com, Web: http://stefanossolarpizza.com

Sharon Cousins (far right) with the Roots & Shoots club and their new EZ-3 solar cookers
Sharon Cousins (far right) with the Roots & Shoots club and their new EZ-3 solar cookers
Writer and avid solar cook Sharon Cousins helped kids make her “EZ-3” solar cookers as part of a Roots & Shoots club project at Lena Whitmore School in Moscow, Idaho. The students used the cookers to make individual pots of soup at their year-end school picnic. Cousins says the students are “all excited by this new potential for summer fun, as well as excited to learn about what a help solar cookers can be in many parts of the developing world, and how much they can help the environment.”
The EZ-3, shown with additional front reflector, is completely enclosed in a transparent, heat-resistant bag
The EZ-3, shown with additional front reflector, is completely enclosed in a transparent, heat-resistant bag
Cousins says the EZ-3 cooker, which is similar to the Pyramid cooker that ClearDome Solar Thermal used to produce, is an “ideal cooker for youth projects, as it is easy to make, is easy to aim using the shadow, and it works well.” It is made by cutting out the corner of a cardboard box diagonally, lining it with foil, and slipping the entire cooker and pot inside a large, transparent, heat-resistant bag, such as a Reynolds® 19 x 23.5-inch turkey size oven bag. The bag is then closed tightly along the back of the cooker with clips. With this size bag, the length of the cooker’s bottom edges can be 12 to 13 inches, and the height can be 17 to 18 inches. (Box flaps can be taped upright if necessary to achieve proper height.) An additional reflector can be added to the bottom front of the cooker, and adjusted up or down to direct more sunlight onto the pot. “This is a surprisingly efficient little cooker for up to one quart of food,” says Cousins. “[It] works very well with either small, dark pots or pint or quart cooking jars.” Cousins also wrote to thank Solar Cookers International for its work and its Solar Cooking Archive (solarcooking.org), where she discovered solar cooking while researching one of her novels. “That was the birth of my advocacy and what has become my passion for cooking with sunshine.” Contact: Sharon Cousins, 1185 Chaney Road, Viola, Idaho 83872, USA. E-mail: writersguildgal@moscow.com, Web: http://ez-3solarcooker.com

United States / Mozambique

John Tillman and Drew Durbin, both recent graduates of Brown University, learned about solar cookers while building and testing biogas stoves in Tanzania. They were inspired, and in 2008 formed SolarCycle, an organization that develops low-cost solar cookers and water pasteurizers that reduce environmental damage and health problems associated with cooking smoke and contaminated drinking water. According to SolarCycle, Tillman and Durbin designed a “revolutionary material” consisting of three layers: a substrate of fused recycled plastic grocery bags, a reflective layer of postindustrial metalized packaging film, and a transparent protective layer. The material can be used to build durable, inexpensive solar cookers and pasteurizers that “turn an urban trash problem into a potential solution for diarrheal illnesses and respiratory diseases.”  SolarCycle’s cooker is stamped out of a sheet of SolarCycle reflective material and assembled into the shape of an inverted cone with a flat bottom. The cone is 3 feet in diameter at the top, 9 inches in diameter at the bottom, and stands two feet tall, while the sides are angled 30 degrees from vertical. The cooker is expected to cost about $5. The SolarCycle team has entered social entrepreneurship business plan competitions at numerous universities and has been extremely successful, winning first prize at Rice, Colorado State University, Georgetown, and the University of Wisconsin, as well as beating out over 1,000 entries for the Chartered Insurance Institute’s “Big Idea” competition. SolarCycle’s winnings — in excess of $70,000 — have enabled it to open an office and purchase industrial machinery. SolarCycle is currently field testing its solar cookers and methods in Pemba, Mozambique. Contact SolarCycle by e-mail: info@solarcycleafrica.com. Web: http://solarcycleafrica.com

Energy entrepreneurs

by Margaret Owino, SCI eastern Africa director

Elizabeth Oranga (center) earns income by demonstrating and selling solar cookers in her community
Elizabeth Oranga (center) earns income by demonstrating and selling solar cookers in her community


Nearly a year after the evaluation of Solar Cookers International’s Sunny Solutions project in Nyakach, Kenya, several “mama solars” are still going strong, sharing the knowledge and skill that the sun can cook food and pasteurize water. These entrepreneurial women formed the backbone of the project, leading demonstrations and selling solar CooKits throughout the community. Thus, they each came to be known as mama solar.

Elizabeth Oranga, who is featured in the Suncookers film as a mama solar, and her colleagues Pamela Tambo from the southern zone, and Jesca Ochieng’, Seline Osian and Mary Okongo’ from the northern zones are all doing their bit to continue making solar cookers available in Nyanza province.

These energy entrepreneurs have taken solar CooKits and heat retention devices (fireless cookers) as their main trade items. They report great interest in the technologies beyond Nyakach in areas they are targeting. Elizabeth reports that she has conducted demonstrations and made sales in four areas this year: Karungu (three CooKit sets sold), Rongo (five), Oyugis (four), and Gwasi (five). Jesca conducted demonstrations in Kendu Bay, selling 10 sets to an orphanage, and in Asembo, where she had six sales. Seline and Mary have each sold two sets this year, in Katolo and Siaya respectively.

When asked about what motivates these women, they respond that they are interested in the work, they love solar cooking, and they would like many other people to also know about and buy the CooKits. They are also motivated by the small profit they make, as well as the fact that they are making a valuable contribution to their community and Kenya at large.

When asked how she communicates with groups quite far away, Elizabeth chuckles and proudly displays her mobile phone. She says that relatives and chance contacts from people who have heard of solar cookers in the media do the trick. The women are proactive, initiating contact with groups they think might be interested in solar cooking, and undertaking a demonstration after the group commits to buying five or more CooKit sets. They target their sales to people with cash — teachers, parents of school pupils, etc. — since the area is vast and collection of installment payments is difficult.

These mama solars are so enthusiastic that they asked to be enlisted by Solar Cookers International for any needed trainings on usage and CooKit making, and any demonstrations within Nyanza province.

Bravo to these brave women! They provide a huge boost to SCI’s commercialization efforts.

SCI looking to expand to Africa’s West Coast in Liberia

by Karyn Ellis, SCI director of international program development

Traditional three-stone fires cause health and environmental problems; integrated cooking methods are cleaner and safer
Traditional three-stone fires cause health and environmental problems; integrated cooking methods are cleaner and safer
As is the case in most African countries, women in Liberia cook food and heat water using local firewood and a three-stone fire, presenting serious related risks of air pollution, fuel inefficiency, lung disease, and accelerated environmental degradation. Severe contamination of water supplies in West Africa has led to diarrhea and cholera outbreaks — two of the biggest child killers in post-civil war Liberia. The population’s dependence on biomass for fuel has had extremely adverse health, social, and economic impacts, and clean water is available to less than 4% of Liberia’s population

As an alternative to cooking and heating water with firewood, Solar Cookers International (SCI) recommends an ecologically conscious integrated cooking approach that includes solar cookers, fuel-efficient stoves and heat retention devices. Solar cookers use solar energy, rather than biomass, to bring food or water to cooking and pasteurization temperatures. Fuel-efficient stoves use less fuel, produce less smoke, and cook faster than traditional stoves. Heat retention devices are able to continue cooking food previously heated to cooking temperatures, as well as keep food hot for up to six hours. Together these technologies drastically reduce the use of firewood to slow the rate of deforestation, enhance the local environment, significantly improve the health of women and girls, and curtail the already noticeable negative effects of climate change. Compared to inefficient charcoal-, wood-, and kerosene-fueled stoves, the integrated cooking method can reduce the workload for women, giving them time to enhance their quality of life and generate income.

These simple technologies can be manufactured and/or maintained locally, creating employment opportunities through production and sales. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), “a lack of access to modern cooking fuels and electricity represents a bottleneck, holding back progress.” The technologies that we recommend support United Nations Millennium Development Goals five, seven and eight by promoting gender equality and empowering women, ensuring environmental sustainability, and fostering a global partnership for development.

Heat retention devices insulate cooking pots, continuing the cooking process without a heat source
Heat retention devices insulate cooking pots, continuing the cooking process without a heat source
Liberia is emerging from two decades of civil conflict, presenting new and exciting opportunities for peaceful and productive development. Environmentally friendly technologies like solar cookers, fuel-efficient stoves, heat retention devices, SCI’s Water Pasteurization Indicators (WAPIs), and solar lanterns can be used to alter and improve the economic, social, and health situation in present day Liberia.

The villagers of the Gbehyi chiefdom in eastern Liberia have expressed a strong interest in creating sustainable income and obtaining clean water and electricity through green technology. Together with a Liberian organization specializing in community development and promoting local “eco-economies,” Empowerment Society International (ESI) is working to develop a Sustainable Village Initiative (SVI) in the Gbehyi chiefdom of Nimba County. The initiative would incorporate a variety of sustainable and appropriate technologies, providing renewable energy, safe water and cleaner air, as well as sanitation and food security measures. The SVI model will assure the provision of basic health and education services, housing, and economic revitalization, including the construction of a Sustainable Village Service Center (SVSC) to oversee the implementation of new technologies and provide opportunities for micro-business.

SCI hopes to design the solar and integrated cooking components of the SVI. Successful uptake of these cleaner technologies will reduce respiratory and waterborne disease among women and children, and reduce the negative effects of deforestation and carbon emissions in the region. Water pasteurization in a solar cooker cheaply and effectively improves health conditions by eliminating waterborne pathogens.

Community participants will be trained on the manufacture, promotion and implementation of these technologies. Project experience will provide useful inputs to the formulation process of Liberia’s national energy policy, and it is anticipated that these principles will be replicated in other parts of the country as an initiative to aid in the mitigation of, and adaptation to, climate change.

The integrated cooking and water pasteurization aspects of the SVI should significantly decrease hunger, respiratory and waterborne diseases, and deforestation in the area; increase food security, school attendance, productivity and income generation; and promote gender equality and empower women by providing opportunities for entrepreneurial prospects and participation in micro-business.

Message from the executive director

Dear SCI Friends,

Solar and integrated cooking devices on display in SCI’s Kisumu office
Solar and integrated cooking devices on display in SCI’s Kisumu office
In May I had the opportunity to visit Solar Cookers International (SCI) programs in Kenya. An early stop was in the SCI office in Kisumu. Upon entering, I saw a display of solar cookers, fuel-efficient stoves to be used when the sun is not out, heat retention devices to keep food hot for hours after removing it from the solar cooker, SCI’s Portable Microbiology Laboratory (PML), and a solar lantern for evening use. To be added soon is the clay water storage container that we use in the Safe Water Project (SWP).

Stove hoods channel smoke out of houses
Stove hoods channel smoke out of houses
I also visited the Kadibo area, where SCI is introducing solar cookers with support from the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA). This project is in collaboration with nongovernmental organization (NGO) Practical Action, which is installing stove hoods to channel smoke out of houses. When the sun is shining, project beneficiaries can use solar cookers for cooking and water pasteurization; at night or during inclement weather, they can use fuel-efficient stoves and vent the smoke from their houses.

Some distance from SCI’s Western Province office in Kakamega, SCI eastern Africa Director Margaret Owino and I visited SWP beneficiaries in Emuhaya constituency. Families are spread out in this area dominated by steep hills and huge boulders, some over two stories tall. Most of the residents are farmers that grow corn, chick peas, kale or Napier grass in clear patches of ground between the boulders. Chickens, pigs and cattle are also common.

Some families we visited bring water up-hill from a pipe channeling water through the rocks in the hillside. The family living closest to the water lives six stories above the water source. Water is carried in 20-liter plastic containers, of which a family of four requires approximately six each day.

One SWP family we visited had two children, ages five and eight. We watched and listened as the eight-year-old girl explained to neighbors what SCI’s Water Pasteurization Indicator (WAPI) is used for and how it functions. The five-year-old boy showed us how he could fill his cup with solar pasteurized water from the SWP water storage container.

Solar pasteurized water is kept free from contamination in clay water storage containers
Solar pasteurized water is kept free from contamination in clay water storage containers
In Bondo district, water sources are primarily ponds discolored by seasonal rain. While visiting another family we again saw a child draw safe drinking water from a SWP water storage container. The small opening at the top of the container prevents children from dipping their cup into the water directly, protecting the water from recontamination.

I am currently in Geneva, Switzerland, thanks to an individual who made a donation specifically for this trip and my travel to Kenya. I am attending the 2009 Annual Consultations between the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and its NGO partners. This year’s meeting brings together more than 180 international and national NGOs to discuss a variety of issues ranging from displacement in urban settings and protracted refugee situations to security and staff safety. The Consultations provide an important forum for the nongovernmental sector to raise issues, network and exchange views with UNHCR. The informal gathering also allows NGOs and states to participate as equal partners, an approach that NGOs welcome.

The refugee agency sees partnerships with NGOs as the best way to ensure that the basic needs of refugees and populations of concern are met. In 2008 some 25% of UNHCR’s total expenditures were channeled through 635 NGOs. At this event, SCI, along with the NGO Committee on the Status of Women and the Working Group on Displaced Women, will have the opportunity for a “side meeting” to give a presentation titled “Integrated Solutions to Cooking Needs and Safe Water.” Displays that focus on SCI programs in Kenya will be part of that presentation.

While in Kenya, I met with UNHCR representatives to discuss a possible return to the refugee camps in Kenya to introduce integrated cooking centered on solar cooking.

One of the first meetings in Geneva was with our friend Derk Rijks, a KoZon volunteer. He has done a marvelous job with Tchad Solaire working in the refugee camps in Chad and brought me up-to-date on his recent activities. He said that in addition to solar cookers, refugees now have fruitful gardens that provide nutritious fresh vegetables. They are also manufacturing soap to sell for income and for their own needs, eliminating the need to import this product.

While in Geneva, I hope to meet with representatives of the World Health Organization (WHO) to discuss SCI’s participation in its 7th Global Conference on Health Promotion scheduled for October 26-30, 2009 in Nairobi. Prior to that event, we would like to meet with community groups that are involved in SCI programs in Kenya to learn what they consider to be useful and traditional health promotion practices.

This is an exciting time for SCI, with program efforts that are benefiting so many in the field. My most lasting impressions in recent times — the young boy drawing pasteurized water from a storage container and his sister explaining the WAPI to a group of amazed adults. Imagine their faces! I hope you will, and also hope that you will respond with your financial support to make these programs possible.

Be well and thank you,

Patrick T. Widner

SCI executive director

Demonstrations galore!

by Sierra Scott, SCI office manager

Bill Hudson, Don Coan and Linda Hayward are among the many dedicated SCI volunteers that attend events and raise public awareness
Bill Hudson, Don Coan and Linda Hayward are among the many dedicated SCI volunteers that attend events and raise public awareness
This spring was a particularly busy time for members of the Public Awareness Demonstration Team at Solar Cookers International (SCI), who helped spread the word about solar cooking and its many benefits at a variety of events near SCI’s headquarters in Sacramento, California (USA). Many of these events were part of Earth Day celebrations at businesses and institutions including Google, Whole Foods Market, Hewlett-Packard, Kaiser Permanente, and Sierra College, and at public events at the Capitol Mall and the Sacramento Earth Day celebration at Southside Park. Other similarly-themed events where demonstrators touted the simple genius of solar cooking included the UC Davis Whole Earth Festival, the Burlingame Green Fair and the “Fairytale Town Goes Green” children’s festival.

Our inclusion in green fairs and earth-friendly events is an obvious fit since solar cookers have zero emissions and help save on energy consumption. As people become more aware of preserving Earth’s precious resources, it becomes easier to recruit new solar cooking enthusiasts. One of SCI’s tasks is to educate the public about this simple, energy-saving way to cook food and pasteurize water, and our team of demonstrators does an excellent job of making that happen. As we roll into summer, we expect even more people to embrace the idea that the sun’s scorching rays needn’t always be something to complain about — just as long as you remember to wear sunscreen when cooking!

Thank you for your service, Dinah

Dinah Chienjo explains how solar cookers work at the United Nations in New York
Dinah Chienjo explains how solar cookers work at the United Nations in New York
After 6½ years as Sunny Solutions project officer, Dinah Chienjo left Solar Cookers International (SCI) at the end of June. We will miss her, and wish her and her family happiness and much success in their future endeavors.

Dinah was selected from a strong pool of candidates to fill the position when it was first announced in 2002. Prior to joining SCI, she was a high school teacher for a number of years. She had also been active in a number of community organizations focusing on counseling, HIV/AIDS issues, and women’s rights.

At SCI, Dinah headed up a team of over 20 women who conducted solar cooker demonstrations, taught solar cooking skills, and sold solar cookers through micro-businesses. She was highly involved in project assessments, and was an advocate for solar cooking at numerous events, on radio programs, and was even featured as an SCI representative in a documentary about Africa conservation projects. Her work took her to various parts of Kenya, Ghana, and even the United States, where she participated in the 15th session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development and demonstrated the practicality of using solar cookers to international diplomats, United Nations visitors, and a CNN reporter.

Upon learning that she had been hired for the position, Dinah recalled being “excited, but also afraid, barely knowing the challenges that lay ahead. My task as project officer was to work with a local community-based organization called NYACODA, and together we were to introduce a new cooking technology in Nyakach.” She continued, “Years down the line, I have no regrets, I am proud to have been involved as facilitator and a beneficiary of the changes I am witnessing in my community.”


Tribute gifts have been given to Solar Cookers International by:

  • Carol N. Coan in honor of Don Coan
  • Karyn Ellis in honor of Carolyn J. Ellis
  • Lynne Gerred in honor of her father, Henry Thomas
  • Linda and Gerald Hayward in memory of Caitlin Marie Smith
  • Sarah Heend in honor of Jane Dunehew
  • Charles Hosking in honor of his wife, Mary Anne Fiske
  • Ellen Jensen in memory of Pauline Ludwig
  • Joyce and Ken Kieffer in honor of Beth Holmes and Lori Yeich
  • Nina Lubick-Reich in honor of her daughter, Lydia Coltman
  • Jane R. Lurie in honor of Elaine Hilp
  • Terry Mason in memory of his wife, Judith Ann Mason
  • Burnett and Mimi Miller in memory of George W. Artz
  • W. Ray Smith in memory of Doris Ryan
  • David and Betty Strait in memory of her sister, Beulah Swan
  • Karla Walsh in honor of her mother, Marcia Walsh

Remembering Gordon Magney and a quarter century of solar service to Afghans

by Kevin Porter, SCI director of education resources

Gordon Magney
Gordon Magney

Along with his wife Grace, Gordon Magney devoted over 25 years of his life to the spread of solar cooking knowledge and skills in Afghanistan and Pakistan. When he passed away on October 5, 2008, the Afghan people lost a dear friend, and the international solar cooking community lost a tireless promoter and leader. He will be missed.

Gordon Magney was born in Tanzania to American parents in 1938. Magney developed a deep interest in Afghanistan while studying at Wheaton College in Wheaton, Illinois (USA). The Magneys moved to Afghanistan in 1969, and spent many years working on adult literacy issues in Kabul, even writing a set of Dari language primers that are still used today. In 1972 they organized food aid in response to a famine in the Ghor province of central Afghanistan, and also began a vocational training program for orphans. Known as SERVE (Serving Emergency Relief and Vocational Enterprises), these programs continued through 1974 when the situation improved.

Magney re-established SERVE in 1980 to provide emergency relief to Afghans who fled the Soviet invasion and were living in refugee camps in Pakistan. In a 1983 survey conducted by SERVE and United Nations experts, refugees revealed that their most urgent need was assistance in obtaining cooking fuel. Magney felt that solar cookers would be a boon in this region with nearly 300 sunny days each year. In a small pilot project, 50 families were given solar cooking training and loaned solar box cookers similar to models in India. By the end of the nine-month project, 80% of the families used solar cookers whenever possible. The cookers were modified based on project feedback, and a workshop was created to build solar cookers. The cookers cost $60-70 to produce, but were sold to refugees at a subsidized price of about $18.

Over time, many of the refugees returned to Afghanistan with their solar cookers. Friends and relatives saw these cookers and demand began to rise, due in part to the danger, during firewood collection, posed by landmines that were left from the war years. As an example of the level of demand, a shipment of 780 solar box cookers in a Kabul market sold out in five days. SERVE continued to provide solar cooker training and equipment in the region through the end of the 1990s, when subsidies dried up. Under Taliban rule, SERVE was forced to close in 2001 because it was considered to be a Christian organization. By then, Magney and SERVE had distributed more than 20,000 solar cookers in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Over 20,000 SERVE-built solar box cookers were distributed in Pakistan and Afghanistan
Over 20,000 SERVE-built solar box cookers were distributed in Pakistan and Afghanistan
The Magneys returned to Afghanistan in 2003 after Taliban rule ended, and again began promoting solar cookers. This time, they opted to import a solar box cooker called the SOS Sport, because it was cheaper, lighter and more attractive than earlier SERVE models. The SOS Sport proved to be a popular cooker in Afghanistan, and the initial delivery of 400 units sold out quickly at a subsidized price of $15, made possible by the Global Hope Network.

In the past few years, the Magneys began to advocate the use of parabolic solar cookers which could be built in Afghanistan, creating employment and providing more families with a way to cook and boil water using Afghanistan’s abundant sunshine. Grace still resides in Kabul and is still active in the solar cooking advocacy work that she and Gordon began so many years ago.

In addition to his work in Afghanistan and Pakistan, Magney was also active in the worldwide solar cooking community. He and his wife attended several conferences and held leadership roles in working groups.

According to SERVE, Magney was buried in Kabul “in the country and among the peoples he loved.”

(Editor’s note: many of the details for this story came from the SERVE 2008 annual report, and Barbara Knudson’s manuscript “The State of the Art of Solar Cooking.”)

Solar Cookers World Network (SCWNet) update

by Bev Blum, SCWNet secretariat

Regional networks encourage collaborations, mentor newer promoters toward more successes, and explore regional solutions to challenges. The Asia Pacific Net has already held two regional conferences (Nepal in 2007 and India in 2009). We’re also delighted to announce a fourth regional group — CUEZ.

Short for Canada/USA/Europe Zone, CUEZ is being revived by active promoter Sharon Cousins from Idaho, USA. She invites members to increase their focus on visibility, youth and homeless outreach, regional membership growth, and information sharing. For more information on this great networking opportunity, and to sign up for an occasional CUEZ-Net newsletter, visit solarcooking.org/scwnet and scroll down to the C/U/E section, or e-mail Cousins: writersguildgal@moscow.com. (Please put “solar” or “SCWNet” in the subject.)

SCWNet’s long and distinguished list of 250 members strengthens credibility when any of us seek loans or grants, or advocate on behalf of solar cookers. Collective advocacy helps educate skeptical policy makers to change unsustainable policies and to challenge inertia and risk aversion. For example, through Solar Cookers International’s United Nations (UN) representatives, SCWNet members provided the World Health Organization (WHO) with examples of local leadership having increased field project successes. These examples will be useful in preparation for WHO’s 7th Global Conference on Health Promotion in Nairobi later this year.

Want to be more active in SCWNet? Volunteers are needed for: a) advocacy at UN agencies in New York, Geneva and Nairobi; b) advocacy among government agencies for members living near their government centers; and c) exhibits and demonstrations at important conferences.

Up-scaling small successes is a problem for most promoters. If even one policy maker is ready to order tens or hundreds of thousands of solar food devices, who could fill that order today? Small successful programs are difficult to replicate on larger scales without participation and leadership from target populations. This requires humility by promoters, and committed partnerships that are by nature time-consuming and unpredictable. Too often, outsiders-driven projects fail, and bad press and cynicism affect all other promoters. The SCWNet Steering Committee is exploring ways to help a few members develop large-scale, turn-key packages of supplies, training and implementation with clear, competitive unit prices. With these in place, effective marketing must bring those packages to potential buyers: governments, UN agencies, businesses, nongovernmental organizations, and education and health institutions. Up-scaling also lowers unit prices and builds commercial and humanitarian confidence in our products. Ideas? Please contact us by e-mail: scwnet@solarcooking.org.

SCWNet, formerly Solar Cookers International Association, includes 100 independent organizations and 170 individual promoters in 50 countries. Its mission is to improve health, economies, societies and environments through collective actions to spread solar cooking, water pasteurizing and food processing. Its primary target is the billion (one thousand million!) people living in sunny, fuel-scarce regions, where less than 2% of people currently have access to simple solar solutions.

SCWNet is led by a steering committee of representatives from nine key promoter agencies: SCI and Solar Household Energy, Inc. (USA), RECOSOL (Chile), CEDESOL (Bolivia), Centre for Rural Technology (Nepal), Barli Institute, ICNEER and PRINCE (India), Solar Food Process Net (Germany), and Solar Cookers Africa (South Africa). To find out more and/or to join, visit solarcooking.org/scwnet or e-mail scwnet@solarcooking.org.

Andres wins major prize for humanitarian efforts

by Kevin Porter, SCI director of education resources

Rachel Andres
Rachel Andres
Rachel Andres received the 2008 Charles Bronfman Prize for her fundraising and organizing roles in bringing solar cookers to Darfur refugees living in Chad refugee camps. She is the fourth individual, and the first woman, to receive the Prize, which “recognizes young, dynamic individuals whose Jewish values infuse their humanitarian accomplishments … and whose work has contributed significantly to the betterment of the world.” It is accompanied by a $100,000 award.

Andres directs the Jewish World Watch (JWW) Solar Cooker Project, which she launched in 2006 to aid female survivors of the Darfur genocide. “The genocide in Darfur is horrifying and people want to help but they don’t know how because the problem is so enormous,” said Andres. “The Solar Cooker Project gives caring individuals who would otherwise feel powerless a concrete way to help. It’s a message to our generation and the ones to follow that we can make a difference.”

Canadian Supreme Court Justice Rosalie Silberman Abella, a Prize judge, says Andres’ contribution “was to address the degradation and dehumanization of the female refugees who were being systematically and ruthlessly subjected to physical and sexual brutality when they left the relative safety of their refugee camps to get the firewood they needed for cooking.”

In 2006 Andres sought out solar cooker organizations that were working on behalf of Darfur refugees, and discovered the Dutch foundation KoZon, which was already working in Chad refugee camps, and Solar Cookers International (SCI), which had many years of experience teaching solar cooking in refugee camps and was helping to fund KoZon’s work. JWW immediately began to raise awareness and funds to support these efforts on the ground.

Andres hopes the Solar Cookers Project will “empower the women of Darfur and help them recover from the atrocities they have endured.”
Andres hopes the Solar Cookers Project will “empower the women of Darfur and help them recover from the atrocities they have endured."
JWW was very successful, raising over one million dollars, largely in increments of $30. Says Justice Abella, “Rachel launched the JWW Solar Cooker Project to raise the money she needed to turn this project from aspiration to reality for the 5,000 families living in the Iridimi refugee camp in Chad, 80% of whose residents were women and children. Enlisting a coalition of women’s organizations … and eventually dozens of churches and synagogues across America, Rachel set about to ensure that every woman at the Iridimi refugee camp had, and had been trained in the use of, solar cookers. A year and a half later, with the help of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), TChad Solaire, CARE International, and Solar Cookers International, it was done.

“The impact of the project was not just in the heroic reduction in danger for the refugee women, but also in the educational tributaries it inspired. All over America, young people began organizing fundraising events to contribute to the Solar Cooker Project. What Rachel created was affordable philanthropy. It taught youthful fundraisers not only how spiritually satisfying it was to make a difference, it gave them the satisfaction of knowing that even a small contribution can make an enormous difference. Thousands of Darfuri women, thousands of American young people, brought together in humane solidarity.”

In response to winning the Prize, Andres said, “My Jewish upbringing has taught me to protect the vulnerable — Jews and non-Jews alike. We can’t be so insular that we don’t see the problems of others, especially those who don’t have powerful voices to stand up for them. My vision is that within two to three years, we will have solar cooker projects functioning in all 12 refugee camps in Chad, and through that, empower the women of Darfur and help them recover from the atrocities they have endured.”

The Solar Cooker Project has already expanded into the neighboring camps of Touloum and Oure Cassoni, where dozens of trainers are spreading solar cooking knowledge and several thousand solar cookers are already in use.

Contact: The Charles Bronfman Prize, 110 East 59th Street, 26th Floor, New York, New York 10022, USA. Tel: 212-931-0127, fax: 212-931-0080, e-mail: info@thecharlesbronfmanprize.com, Web: http://thecharlesbronfmanprize.com; Rachel Andres, Jewish World Watch, 17514 Ventura Blvd, Suite 206, Encino, California 91316, USA. Tel: 818-501-1836, e-mail: info@jewishworldwatch.org, Web: http://jewishworldwatch.org

From kindling to cooker

Solar Cookers International (SCI) received this heart-warming vignette from Henry Ogola Oloo of the Amani Solution Self Help Group in Nairobi, Kenya. It is inspiring to hear from Solar Cooker Review readers and to share in the spread of solar cooking knowledge around the world. This serves as a good reminder to pass on your Review to someone else when you are done with it, because you never know what they might do with the newfound information!

“Amani Solution is a community-based organization … mainly dealing with HIV/AIDS awareness, children’s education and poverty eradication.

“On one of our occasions we gathered [at a] members premises to discuss the progress growth in development of our community. By chance, I saw a piece of paper that was to be used for lighting fire to prepare our lunch. What kind of paper was this? It was a Solar Cooker Review dated July 2003.

“After reading part of it, I found it to be producing fire by itself. So instead of being used for the purpose of lighting fire, I mobilized members to understand the message contained [in it]. We used it for its real purpose of making fire.

“With member’s support of donations … we managed to make this box-type solar cooker and it really worked. With solar, we will have an added opportunity to ease the burden of the needy in collecting firewood and buying fuel, and that will reduce poverty by 20% if initiated.”

SCI is now tweeting!

Solar Cookers International recently began tweeting on Twitter. (If you’re lost already, check out twitter.com to learn more.) You can easily follow us on Twitter by visiting http://twitter.com/solarcookersint and clicking “follow.” Use @solarcookersint to send us a Tweet.

See you in cyberspace!

SCI remembers Solar Solutions supporter George Artz

George Artz and his daughter Deborah
George Artz and his daughter Deborah
Real estate developer George Artz passed away in February. He was an accomplished musician, a civic leader, and a philanthropist in Sacramento, California, where Solar Cookers International (SCI) is headquartered. George learned about SCI’s Sunny Solutions project when he and his wife Jean attended an event in 2004. George immediately understood the benefits that solar cookers would bring to the women and families of western Kenya, and pledged to raise $50,000 to help advance the project. Within months he had exceeded his goal, providing much needed funding during the early stages of the project.

George remained an SCI advocate and friend, and enjoyed meeting with SCI’s Eastern Africa Director Margaret Owino whenever she was in town.

On behalf of thousands of families in western Kenya that now are able to cook food and pasteurize drinking water with plentiful, free solar energy, we thank you and remember your kindness. Rest in Peace.

Jack-o’-lantern pudding

by Donald Coan

Hey, don’t throw away that Jack-o’-lantern after Halloween has passed. Bake it in your solar cooker, scrape the flesh from the skin, and mash it with a potato masher. Then you’re ready to make Jack-o’-lantern pudding.

Mix together and put in a round, black pot for solar baking:

  •  2 cups pumpkin (get a can if you must)
  •  ¾ cup sugar
  •  1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  •  ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  •  ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  •  ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  •  3 beaten eggs
  •  1 12-ounce can evaporated milk

On top, layer the following in order:

  •  1 box yellow (or lemon) dry cake mix
  •  1 cube butter (or margarine), melted and drizzled over cake mix
  •  ¼ cup (or more) shaved almonds

Replace the lid and bake for two to four hours in a solar cooker. (Or, use your old gas/electric oven if you must. I don’t have any idea how long it will take; I don’t have much experience with those things.)

New giving opportunity: support SCI with every credit card purchase!

Through the Capital One® Card Lab Connect program, you can now sign up for a “Solar Cooking & Safe Water” Visa® Platinum credit card and support Solar Cookers International (SCI) every time you shop. One percent of each purchase directly supports our vital work. As an added bonus, SCI gets $25 with your first transaction!

Show your support with our customized card. Apply today at http://www.CardLabConnect.com/solarcookingsafewater

This Card is issued by Capital One pursuant to a license from Visa U.S.A. Inc. Credit approval required. Terms and conditions apply. Offered by Capital One Bank (USA), N.A., member FDIC. © 2009 Capital One.

SCI vehicle donation program

Donate your vehicle to Solar Cookers International (SCI) and receive a tax deduction! Through a partnership with Donation Line, Inc., SCI will benefit from the sale of your vehicle, even if it is inoperable. (A clear title is usually required.) You can donate cars, trucks, motorcycles, motor homes, buses, boats, jet skis, even snow mobiles.

To donate a vehicle, call toll free (877) 227-7487 extension 2403, or submit a vehicle donation form at http://donationline.com/newvehicle_donation_form.shtml and designate “Solar Cookers International” as the beneficiary. There is no cost to you. Your vehicle will be towed away, and after your vehicle is sold you will receive a formal letter from SCI certifying the donation.

Contact SCI Resource Development Coordinator Rene Hamlin for more information on vehicle donations. She can be reached by telephone: (916) 455-4499, or by e-mail: rene@solarcookers.org

Does your employer have a workplace giving campaign or matching gift program?

Fall is the season when many employers offer employees the option of giving through payroll deductions. Solar Cookers International (SCI) benefits from several major campaigns, including the Combined Federal Campaign (CFC), California and Washington state employee campaigns, and the Hewlett Packard employee giving campaign. If your place of work has a giving campaign, you can write Solar Cookers International in the donor option field and your donation will be sent to us.

There are advantages to giving through recurring payroll deductions. A modest amount taken out of each pay check adds up to a wonderful donation over the giving year, and provides a steady donation stream in support of SCI’s work. Some employers will even match the gift!

Even if your company does not run a workplace giving campaign, it may have a matching gifts program. We receive matching gifts from many companies, including Adobe, Intel and Wachovia. Check with your human resources or public relations department to see if this opportunity is available.

Give AND receive with an SCI charitable gift annuity

You’ve probably heard the phrase “it is better to give than to receive.” But did you know that it is possible for you to give AND receive? How does the idea of receiving a generous fixed income, guaranteed for life, sound to you? Through its established partnership with the Sacramento Region Community Foundation (SRCF), Solar Cookers International (SCI) offers you the benefits of investing in charitable gift annuities, which ultimately enable us to build our endowment and help support our future programs.

The benefits you receive when you establish a charitable gift annuity may include:

  • Immediate income tax deduction
  • Generous fixed income, guaranteed for life
  • Avoidance of capital gains tax on the sale of appreciated assets
  • Reduction of potential estate tax
  • Consolidation of several stocks or accounts into one income source

A charitable gift annuity benefiting SCI is a simple agreement between you and SRCF, in which — for an irrevocable gift of cash and/or securities — SRCF agrees to make fixed payments to you for your life. The payout rate is based upon your age at the time of the gift.

Sample charitable gift annuity rate chart (2/1/2009):

Age Payout Rate
60 5.0%
65 5.3%
70 5.7%
75 6.3%
80 7.1%
85 8.1%
90 9.5%

Would you like to see a personalized charitable gift annuity illustration? We can provide one! Just call SCI Resource Development Coordinator Rene Hamlin at (916) 455-4499 and we’ll get started. It’s free and there is no obligation. Please call today.

Note: the minimum gift amount is $10,000. Before implementing any plans, be sure to seek the advice of your professional tax or financial advisor.

Calling all U.S. federal employees!

Are you a federal employee? Do you know one? Solar Cookers International (SCI) has again qualified as a participating organization in the Combined Federal Campaign (CFC). SCI is a beneficiary of the effort through the Aid for Africa Federation. We are proud to meet the rigorous financial, accountability, and governance standards, and ask for your CFC support.

Federal employees have the option of supporting SCI with either a one-time gift or with recurring payroll deductions. For those interested in joining the effort, our CFC number is 11023. This code directs your donation to SCI’s Africa programs. Information is available on-line at aidforafrica.org/members.php?id=43. Your questions are also welcomed by SCI Resource Development Coordinator Rene Hamlin. You can reach her by telephone: (916) 455-4499, or e-mail: rene@solarcookers.org

Thanks, federal employees, for your philanthropy and involvement in the effort to spread this sustainable solar solution.

Solar Cooker Review

Solar Cooker Review (“Review”) is published two or three times per year with the purpose of presenting solar cooking and solar water pasteurization information from around the world. Topics include solar cooker technologies, dissemination strategies, educational materials, and cultural and social adaptations. From time to time we cover related topics such as women’s issues, wood shortages, health, nutrition, air pollution, climatic changes, and the environment.

The Review is sent to those who contribute money or news about solar cooking projects. The suggested subscription price is $10/year. Single copies are sent free to select libraries and groups overseas.

We welcome reports and commentary related to solar cooking for possible inclusion. These may be edited for clarity or space. Please cite sources whenever possible. Send to Solar Cookers International (SCI), 1919 21st Street #101, Sacramento, California 95811-6827, USA. You may also submit by fax: +1 (916) 455-4498 or e-mail: kevin@solarcookers.org.

The Review is compiled and edited by Kevin Porter, SCI’s director of education resources, with assistance from other staff. Layout is graciously donated by IMPACT Publications located in Medford, Oregon, USA.

SCI is a 501(C)(3) nonprofit organization assisting communities in using the power of the sun to cook food and pasteurize water for the benefit of people and environments. SCI is a member of InterAction. We do not sell, rent or trade names of donors. Tax ID # 68-0153141.

The Review is available on-line at http://solarcooking.wikia.com/scr 


This document is published on The Solar Cooking Archive at http://solarcooking.org/newsletters/scrjul09.htm. For questions or comments, contact webmaster@solarcooking.org