Skip to main content

People who know me know that I take on many projects. Sometimes with considerable success, sometimes getting nowhere. One of my main accomplishments was setting in motion the restoration (currently happening thanks to much help!) of the last surviving synagogue in the town of Rezekne in Latvia where my family came from.

Now I want to revisit a project I have been working on for awhile: the Abayudaya Solar Stove project. The idea is to provide solar or high efficiency cook stoves to a community in the Mbale region of Uganda that includes Jewish, Muslim and Christian communities. These communities were once at odds with each other with the Jewish community in particular being persecuted...in fact Idi Amin nearly wiped them out.

Since then, the Jewish community (called the Abayudaya) has focused on projects that bring benefits to all members of the area whatever their tribal or religious affiliation. For example, school lunch programs for schools that cater to all religious groups. And they have started a coffee cooperative that involves and provides income for all members of the community. This is an example of cooperation among diverse people in a part of the world that has all too often fought over their differences.

Just far an "awwww" moment, here are some of the Abayudaya children singing (sorry if there is an ad before the song):

While reading about the Abayudaya I noticed that they have a problem that afflicts many communities around the world: the use of cook stoves that use large amounts of wood or charcoal and fill the women's lungs with smoke, causing endemic respiratory problems. Efficient or solar cook stoves are ways of providing better technology to a community, reducing deforestation, and improving women's health. I have decided to try and bring this improved technology to the Abayudaya and their neighbors. I have established a collaboration among three key organizations: Kulanu, Jewish World Watch, and Solar Cookers International and we have accomplished our first goal and I am asking your help in funding the next phase.

More below...

I have divided this project into three phases, each of which has a defined goal that will be of benefit even if the other goals are not accomplished.

Phase 1 has just been completed. This was the simplest: providing a computer and internet linkage for the Abayudaya Women's Association, who will be my contact group in the community for the other two phases. Kulanu, the organization that has been helping me with this project, recently delivered a computer and modem and I have since been in direct touch with Norah Nantabo, the president of the Abayudaya Women's Association. We have now been discussing phase 2.

Phase 2: provide efficient and/or solar cookers for one or more local schools or health clinics as a way of introducing the technology into the community. I am discussing the technical aspects with the executive director of Solar Cookers International and she has outlined a good approach to meeting the cooking needs of local institutions like schools while improving women's health and environmental impact. Norah has identified two schools and one health clinic which will be our first target locations for this project.

Phase 3: if community interest is sufficient and the benefits clearly established in phase 2, we will begin to provide efficient and solar cookers to individual families that want them. This phase I imagine will be a bit in the future since even phase 2 is a bit ambitious since I am currently the main driving force.

Norah and I have identified two schools and one clinic to start with: Semei Kankungulu High School, Hadassah Primary School, and the Tobin Health Centre. Norah and I also are discussing the actual cooking needs (e.g. breads vs. beans and rice kinds of meals) and the numbers each location will be cooking for. Even while I am working out the technical details both of cooking needs and stoves required, I want to start the process of raising funds. There are two things I will be raising money for right now and I invite all of you to give if you can: (donations through Kulanu are fully tax deductible)

1. Abayudaya Solar Stove Project: Hadassah Primary School
This will be the first school we want to provide with cook stoves. To donate to provide clean, efficient cook stoves for a school catering to 5-13 year olds, please donate through Kulanu here:

https://app.etapestry.com/...

IMPORTANT: under Gift Information, please designate "Other" for the Fund you want to contribute to, and in the comment section please request that the money goes to the Abayudaya Solar Stove Project, Hadassah Primary School Fund.

2. Abayudaya Women's Association Internet Fund:
This will pay for monthly internet access for the Abayudaya Woman's Association, allowing better coordination with them on the solar stove project. Please donate through Kulanu here:

https://app.etapestry.com/...

IMPORTANT: under Gift Information, please designate "Other" for the Fund you want to contribute to, and in the comment section please request that the money goes to the Abayudaya Women's Association Internet Fund.

When you donate, please email me so I can confirm with Harriet Bograd, the president of Kulanu.

I am excited that I have reached the second phase of this project and I hope you will join me in helping a diverse African community that is thriving on cooperation rather than fighting over their differences.

For more information on the Abayudaya themselves, please click here.

Originally posted to mole333 on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 01:54 PM PST.

Also republished by DK Lending, Black Kos community, and Support the Dream Defenders.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (4+ / 0-)

    FREEDOM ISN'T FREE: That's why we pay taxes! Find me on Linkedin.

    by mole333 on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 01:54:40 PM PST

  •  Keep up the good work! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mole333, JoanMar

    -1.63/ -1.49 "Speaking truth to power" (with snark of course)! Follow on Twitter @dopper0189

    by dopper0189 on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 02:29:34 PM PST

    •  Heh... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jan4insight, JoanMar

      I keep telling myself I'm not qualified to get projects like this done...particularly since I am an awful fundraiser. But then I give it a try anyway...and sometimes it works!

      Please help spread the word and get some donations. With money I can make it happen! Though interestingly, my sticking point with the computer was trying to get just the right computer at a cheap price. Ultimately I should have just bought something because I wasted a lot of time trying to find just the right advice.

      Now I want to move on. Another part of the project, but one I can let sit for now, is getting a solar charger for the computer we gave to the Women's Association. That will give them more flexibility. Right now they have to charge it when they go into town because there is no electricity in the villages where they live.

      FREEDOM ISN'T FREE: That's why we pay taxes! Find me on Linkedin.

      by mole333 on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 02:50:24 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thank you for your hard work and dedication, mole. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mole333
    Toxic indoor smoke leads to low birth weights, pneumonia in young children, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, emphysema, cardiovascular disease, lung cancer, cataracts, and lower respiratory infections. 1.9 million deaths every year are attributed to the toxic smoke from indoor fires and old cook stoves.
    http://www.goodneighbors.org/...
    I will make a small donation with the hope that it will be multiplied a thousand (or more) times over.
    Thanks for taking the first step.

    Maya Angelou: "Without courage, we cannot practice any other virtue with consistency. We can't be kind, true, merciful, generous, or honest."

    by JoanMar on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 07:12:01 PM PST

    •  No paypal. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mole333

      Will see about send check or mo.
      Thanks again, mole.

      Maya Angelou: "Without courage, we cannot practice any other virtue with consistency. We can't be kind, true, merciful, generous, or honest."

      by JoanMar on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 07:18:38 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site