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Newsletter, August 2010 - February 2011 PDF Print E-mail

New beginnings in Huasa Rancho

ImageOn Saturday, February 12th, 9 CEDESOL staff members traveled to the community of Hausa Rancho to deliver 30 solar cookers to the participants of a current Project sponsored by the Kyoto Twist Solar Cooking Society. Hausa Rancho is located 90 minutes outside the city of Cochabamba, and as it receives an ample amount of sunlight daily it is a prime location to utilize the solar cookers to their full capacity. The Kyoto Twist Solar Cooking Society subsidized the cost of the solar cookers for this project, an enormous benefit for the low-income recipients. Through outside funding from supporting agencies and organizations, CEDESOL is already able to subsidize the solar cookers it sells, and each cooker costs 560 Bs when its production cost originally sets the price at 1,600 Bs. With this compounded subsidization, each participant only pays 200 Bs to receive a solar cooker, afterwards participating in training sessions held every 2 to 3 weeks over the course of 3 months for a total of 5 training sessions. The CEDESOL staff had previously visited the community with the proposition for the project, which was well-received and prompted the agreement to collaborate. This most recent demonstration encompassed deliverance of the solar cookers and the formal contract agreement between CEDESOL, Kyoto Twist, and the participating members of the community. The staff members arrived mid-morning to begin setting up the 30 solar cookers, which would be used to cook lunch for the community and demonstrate the capacity of the solar cookers. The preparation of the meal took around 2 hours, and once the cooked food was presented the participants were amazed at the results. The meal was delicious, and the community was very enthusiastic to begin using the solar cookers themselves.

In the following months, the training sessions will be held to further educate the participants on the functionalities of the cookers. Following the training period, the community will keep the solar cookers, with the expected results of lowered carbon emissions, safer cooking methods, and cleaner lives.

CEDESOL collaborates with the Salvation Army to bring solar energy to marginal areas

While CEDESOL usually focuses on rural communities, a coordinated project with the Salvation Army brought the benefits of solar cooking instead to the marginal outskirts of the city of Cochabamba. The Salvation Army chose to sponsor a project that involved 4 separate communities in the outskirts of the city of Cochabamba. This involved the presentation of both solar and wood-burning stoves to each community separately, allowing them to individually chose which version they would most like to receive. Following their decision, they each receive training sessions regarding the usage of their solar cooker or wood-burning stove. Thanks to the Salvation Army subsidizing the solar cookers from CEDESOL, the members of the community paid a mere 100 Bolivianos per solar cooker. The CEDESOL staff providedall training aspects and workshops for each of the 4 communities. The CEDESOL staff arrived in the outskirts of Cochabamba to begin the demonstrations, and give each community the opportunity to choose a cooker type. The following visit was dedicated to delivering the solar cookers to the recipients. The efficiency of the solar cookers was proven to the community as the team cooked lunch for the participants, and they were excited at the prospect of soon being able to cook for their own families with the equipment. This collaboration will benefit the marginal communities greatly, as they represent extremely low-income areas with almost no access to resources such as running water, health care, or sanitation. It is hoped that the provision of solar cooking equipment and capacity-building training sessions will give the people of these communities an economic boost, eliminate the dangers of traditional cooking methods, increase sanitation, and provide education for the members of the sponsored project. With the completion of the delivery, the solar cooker recipients were excited to begin cooking their meals with solar energy, and eager to attend the follow-up training sessions with CEDESOL.

Founder David Whitfield participates in the PCIA Forum in Lima, Peru

From February 21-26thDavid Whitfield is actively participating in the 5th Biennial Partnership for Clean Indoor Air Forum in Lima, Peru. His attendance at this event represents an unparalleled opportunity for CEDESOLin many regards, and this has been possible thanks to the help of the Kyoto Twist Solar Society, that funded a major portion of the cost of this participation. The forum will provide CEDESOL with the opportunity to network with myriad organizations, establish connections, and represent CEDESOL and its cause as viable potential future recipients of aid and funding from the many donor organizations that will be present.

In particular, CEDESOL is interested in pursuing a partnership with the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves, an organization which collaborates with other foundations, agencies, and organizations to surmount the economic hurdles that impede the mission to providing solar cookers to the developing world. With the many projects undertaking in 2011 and as we continue to grow and expand, this funding is essential to further our efforts and advancing our vision and mission to reach more communities and empower more families.

While the objective of acquiring funding is undoubtedly imperative, the PCIA Forum also offers CEDESOL an interesting role in the Bolivian solar energy campaign itself. As one of the leading organizations providing ecological cookers in Bolivia, CEDESOL also has the opportunity and responsibility to represent the advancements made in Bolivia itself, essentially acting as one of the faces and representatives of the movement within the country at this international assembly. Additionally, as the producer of a leading model of ecological cookers, Kyoto Twist Solar Cooking Society recognized that CEDESOL holds an important responsibility to be present at this forefront of solar energy technology. A CEDESOL 2 burner rocket stove was transported by bus to the conference and has been installed, used and demonstrated with impressive results.

CEDESOL makes a strong appearance at the Fería de la Construcción

ImageCEDESOL attended the Fería de la Construcción, held in the Campo Ferial de Cochabamba from November 18th-21st, 2010. The Fería presented an excellent opportunity for CEDESOL to demonstrate its solar energy products to those attending the event, who represent Cochabamba and its surrounding areas as well as other regions of Bolivia. Through the use of a slide show as well as physical demonstrations of the single and double solar cookers and the Rocket Stove, volunteers and staff promoted and spread knowledge of the capacity of solar energy to viewers. The showing was well received by the crowd, and garnered a large amount of interest with attendees of the Fería. Attendance in these types of events is an efficient way to open new doors with other communities and introduce CEDESOL and its mission to new areas.