In October, 2016, for his Eagle Scout project, Russell Desrosier of Fairfax, Virginia, arranged for his Boy Scout troop to build 36 Haines Solar Cookers for Haiti. In the group photo, Russell in the one in the funny hat made from a circular cover. Russell plans to deliver the cookers in January 2017 to recipients in Haiti as part of a project organized by WeCareToShare, Chantal, a medical-dental relief team that has been working in Chantal, Haiti since the 2010 earthquake. Chantal is a rural rice-farming village approximately 250 km from Port Au Prince on the Tiburon Peninsula. The team obtained a grant from Rotary District 7610 to improve a kitchen at one of the Chantal schools with almost 900 K – 12 students. The group has been consulting with solar cooking experts Mary Buchenic and Sharon Cousins, and plans an intensive one week workshop on solar cooking for the village. They’ll be teaching the school cooks to use solar cooking as well as teaching adults from the village.
In March, 2016, a contractor tested Haines Solar Cookers in the Gaga Refugee Camp in Chad, and found that they outperformed the other solar cookers tested, and that a focus group in the camp preferred the Haines over the others. Accordingly, the contractor recommended the Haines Cooker for use by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees. The contractor’s field tests confirmed that the Haines Cooker cooks faster than the other cookers tested, and that it was more convenient to use.
For many years, NGOs have funded the distribution of cardboard “CooKit” solar cookers in the Gaga Camp. But this project has ended, and the U.N. is phasing out free distribution of wood, so there is an even greater need for solar cookers. As a result, we are seeking funding to get Haines Solar Cookers into Gaga and other refugee camps. Consistent with the UN’s new “entrepreneurial model,” outside funding would allow us to offer Haines Solar Cookers in the camps at “market” (i.e., subsidized) prices.
On May 14, 2016, Camily Wedende of Eldoret, Kenya, obtained six Haines Solar Cookers from Dinah Chiengo in Lower Nyakach, Kenya, and provided a solar cooking demonstration to a group of educators in Kisumu, Kenya. It was a very sunny day and the educators were very happy and amazed to see some meat, ugali, and green vegetables cooked in the sun. They tested the food and found that it was well cooked, and expressed interest in purchasing the cookers for $40 (4,000 KSh) each. Camily is actively promoting Haines Solar Coolers through his business, Sun Cookers International, in Eldoret.
On April 11 and 12, 2016, Roger Haines traveled to Africa and met with women in villages near Gulu and Atiak, Uganda. He wanted to observe how they were using 500 Haines Solar Cookers that had been distributed by the Gulu, Uganda Rotary Club. The women were asked to bring their cookers to the village center and set them in the sun to cook.
Roger was welcomed with dancing and singing, and the women were invited to say what they liked about the cooker, and what they disliked about it. Many said they were surprised that it could cook their traditional foods, including ugali, without stirring. Ugali is maize meal, and tastes like stiff Cream of Wheat. One disabled woman said what a blessing it was that she did not have to ask others to collect firewood for her. The only “dislike” was that they could not cook at night.
On February 13, 2016, about 40 young people from San Diego Rotaract Clubs spent their Saturday at UCSD making almost 1,000 Water Pasteurization Indicators (WAPIs), for solar cooker projects in East Africa. These simple, reusable devices use a short plastic tube with wax that melts at pasteurization temperature (about 66 C.) to show when water is safe to drink. Because they eliminate the need to heat water to boiling, they permit twice as much water to be pasteurized in a day. Roger Haines made a presentation about Rotary’s Solar Cooker Project in Gulu, Uganda, Five hundred of the WAPIs will be given away with the Haines Solar Cookers that will be distributed in March-April, 2016.