Solar Cookers delivered to families in Meki, Ethiopia for field testing

Why produce solar cookers for Ethiopia? For the women, who often spend several hours each day collecting firewood; for the children, who develop pulmonary problems from breathing smoke; for the environment of Ethiopia, where de-forestation has had a detrimental effect on the soil and agriculture.

In March, Joshua's Way, working with its Ethiopian partner the Meserete Christos Church Relief Development Association (MCC), a Mennonite organization, helped distribute solar cookers for field testing. In all, 10 cookers will be tested by 10 different Ethiopian families for a 6-8 week period. If accepted, we then hope to produce a significant number of cookers in Ethiopia, using Ethiopians to build them. This next phase, to be successful, will require the raising of significant dollars.

An Ethiopian agriculturalist first suggested the need for a solar cooker to David Rogers several years ago. David mentioned this need to Don Morris, a resident of Greer who is also an inventor who holds several patents. Don ultimately designed a working solar cooker and assembled a team of men who constructed ten (10) cookers for field testing in Ethiopia. Those cookers are now in use in Ethiopia.

On our trip in March, Don Morris, Shelton Hall, and David Rogers worked closely with Zemedkun Habtyimer, Executive Director of MCC, members of MCC and Alexi Missailidis (our interpreter) to distribute the cookers and train families on their use.

It is hard to describe the delight and expressions of appreciation from the Ethiopian families who received these cookers. By our standards, these families are amazingly poor. They live in a harsh environment where obtaining adequate water and preparing meals require significant effort each day.

As we distributed the solar cookers in Meki, we also gave a new Amharic (the official language of Ethiopia) Bible to each family. One family patriarch told us that he was delighted to receive the solar cooker, but he was most delighted to receive the Bible and the gospel of Jesus Christ. It seems that poor Ethiopians sometimes understand things better than we do.