Saturday, December 23, 2006

Darfur Solar Cooker Project

I've been receiving such positive responses from Lou Ann Merkle's Solar Cooker Project for Darfur from the Darfur Alert Coalition (our sister group in Philadelphia that Mohamed Ibrahim co-founded) that I've included the guidelines here:


As we hear so much bad news coming from Darfur along with the international community's complicity we could easily despair. In the meantime, women and children are trying to survive in the camps. So we?claim hope because families are counting on us. DAC is thrilled to offer an opportunity to DO SOMETHING NOW that will directly help the women and children in the camps. Please read the info below about DAC's Solar Cooker Project.




THE MISSION: The Darfur Alert Coalition is proud to assist Solar Cookers International, a California nonprofit, and KoZon (Cooking with the Sun) of the Netherlands in their refugee-camp project in Chad. The project is providing women in Iridimi refugee camp with thousands of solar cookers. This simple life-changing step protects them from rape and other forms of violence by ending their need to leave the camp to forage for cooking fuel. In addition, the women generate income by assembling the cookers in a workshop at the camp and by providing training to others. The cookers have also been used successfully in refugee camps in Kenya and Ethiopia.

THE REFUGEE CRISIS: More than 250,000 Darfur refugees (mostly women and children) live in camps in Chad, across the border from war-torn Sudan. There is little or no security beyond the camp perimeter, and girls and women who leave to forage for firewood are often beaten, raped and branded by the Sudanese-supported janjaweed militia. The Iridimi camp, holding about 20,000 refugees, is in an area of Chad with abundant sun but devoid of vegetation. Very little firewood or other fuel is supplied by relief agencies working in Iridimi.

THE COOKER SOLUTION: Through this project, refugees in Iridimi are given a simple solar cooker called a CooKit that converts sunlight into heat to cook food and purify water. Being made of cardboard and aluminum foil, it is lightweight and easy to assemble. After training, the women get two CooKits per family (one for rice or other grain/starch, and the other for sauce or vegetables). The cookers provide many benefits: They help the environment by lessening the uprooting of trees and brush. Their fire-free cooking means no more smoke inhalation and eye irritation. Ending the need for firewood frees up considerable time and money that families can devote to improving their livelihood. Eighty women trainers have successfully taught about 600 families in Iridimi how to use CooKits. About 1,200 cookers have been distributed thus far in the project, with the goal of 6,000 for the camp. Once that is completed, KoZon and Solar Cookers may replicate the project in two other refugee camps in Chad. For more information visit:

Many of the refugees in Chad had only one request: "Don't forget us," they said.

YES! I want to bring solar cookers to the women in the Iridimi Camp.

Name ___________________________________________________
Phone_________________________ email_____________________
___$30 to buy 2 stoves for 1 family.
___$55 to buy stoves & training for 1 family.

__ $110 to buy stoves & training for 2 families.


Checks should be payable to Darfur Alert Coalition, with Solar Cooker Project indicated in the memo field. Acknowledgment of your tax-deductible donation will be mailed to you. Solar Cookers International also will send you its newsletter with progress reports and updates from the field.

Mail your check and this form to: Darfur Alert Coalition, P.O. Box 42036, Philadelphia Pa. 19101

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