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Newsletter No.18 Apr. 2008
the beginning of this year the weather
has been very cold in parts of Vietnam. During the Lunar New Year
celebrations very low temperatures kept many people at home. In the
mountain region near the border of China there was even …snow! It was
very unusual. Many cattle died and farmers feared for their crops.
Cooking with the solar cookers was difficult. Only clear sunshine makes
it work, even in a very cold but clear Tibet where one of our solar
cookers is working very well.
Parabolic cookers for transport
We told you
already about our
four-part parabolic cooker. Here are some other pictures of the new
cooker. We are considering to make them with long reflecting panels,
but also smaller ones as in the original parabolic cooker. The stand is
also foldable. It weights 23 kg and takes only 100 x 90 x 30 cm of
space for transport.
Made by our deaf workers
Today we have five deaf
workers working at our workshop near
the entrance of the Danang airport. Mister Tuan is their supervisor.
They are building the foldable parabolic cookers with lots of
enthusiasm. After the opening of our new Solar Serve Center they will
all work at the center. Also other deaf workers will be employed. We
hope the new center will become their home and for many others. We are
planning to shuttle all workers by bus daily from Danang to the
factory. Please get to know them a little bit and try to understand
that life as a deaf person in Vietnam is not always easy:
(30 yrs) is the oldest of our five deaf workers and has
been working for Solar Serve almost 8 months. He was born in Danang. He
lives with his mother and younger brother. He became deaf when he was
young, but can hear a little with one ear. It took him awhile to learn
welding with electrodes, but now he is able to weld the frames for the
cookers well without any problems. He finds his work not too hard. He
will try to do his best to earn and save money for his life and future.
has been working with us for 6 months. He is 20 years old and was born
in Danang. He lives with his parents and one older sister. He became
deaf when he was born. He loves to work with us. It also gives him a
job. The work is not too difficult for him. Till now he needs money for
his living and was not able to save any money. He wants to have a
stable job for the future which can help him and his family.
(17yrs) is the youngest of our five deaf workers. He has been working
with us for 6 months. He was born in Danang. His mother is still alive.
He became deaf when he was born. None of his brothers and sisters are
deaf. Life for deaf people is difficult. But now he is happy with his
work because he is able to save some money. He doesn’t know what the
future will hold, but he hopes that he has the ability to work well in
order to support his family and to deal with difficulties in life.
(2) has been working for 3 months with us. He is 23
years old. His mother, father, three sisters and two brothers live in
Nghe An (North Vietnam), but in order to work with us he lives with his
relatives in Danang. He became deaf in both ears when he was born. His
life was difficult, because he could not find a job and it was
difficult to communicate with people. He just started to work with
Solar Serve and loves to make solar cookers. It is light work and suits
him very well. He hopes that his work becomes stable.
has been a new worker since February. He is 22 years old and was born
in Danang. He lives with his parents and two younger brothers. He
became deaf when he was still young. He can hear a little with one ear.
Life has not been easy for him as a deaf person. When you are deaf it
is very hard to find a good job. He loves his work, but he has not been
able to save any money yet. When he thinks about his future he wants to
supports his family and himself.
Solar Serve Center
In our last newsletter we
told you that we finished the
foundation of the building. We felt that the factory was just a part of
the building, so we renamed it Solar Serve Center. After the walls and
pillars were built and the second floor was laid, things happened fast
and if you see the pictures, maybe you will not believe your eyes. It’s
wonderful and so exciting. We made an agreement with the contractor to
finish the construction work within 6 months. That will bring us almost
to the end of May.
The last three months we
already had dozens of people
visiting our Solar Serve Center, including 15 students from the USA,
and also three Asian women who were working in China. They traveled
almost 1450 km by bus to see our work. They heard and read about us and
wanted to know everything about the solar cookers and our project. When
they visited the Center it inspired them. This was the same with three
other foreign visitors and eight project leaders from Saigon and Hanoi.
All of them agreed that it was great to have our own center. Knowing
that the value of the land raised three times as much since last year
and prices of material increased recently, they marveled with us about
the perfect time.
We have been
people who helped us to support our project and pay our bills for the
construction of the center. Lately we heard of a workgroup of nine
people (see picture). They have been organizing all kinds of events in
order to sponsor us, for example a sponsor run, selling plants, walking
a four day march, selling on fairs, introducing people to solar
cooking, selling second hand things, etc. They also created their own
website for people to join the events. It is wonderful to have a group
like this with ‘solar’ hearts of compassion in order to serve and help
owner of the workshop
near the airport told us that she wants to build a new house at the
place of our workshop. This means that we have to move. It
is a similar situation to one year ago, when we had to move our factory
in Tamky. Butevery-thing worked out for good. It is possible
that we have to move a little bit earlier to the new factory in our new
landlord of the information room also told us that we have to move in
October. Maybe this will be another way to move everything to the
• We are planning to give tours and
presentations of our work at the new Solar Serve Center as soon as we
open the center this summer. We love to welcome tourists and guests
after their visit to the famous Marble Mountains
• In cooperation with the Danang
University we would like to establish a village near our Solar Serve
Center to become the first solar cooking village in Vietnam. We will
provide at least 50 box cookers and 20 parabolic cookers in the coming
weeks and hope to add more in order to establish a good model. What do
March 19th our website welcomed the 10.000 visitor
Our Youtube video clip (1) has been watched by
1000 visitors Click
and the Vietnamese news clip has been watched
by 600 people: Click
We are very thankful for all those visitors.
This is all the news we have for now.
Thanks for your solar friendship. Please stay in touch.
Warm greetings from Danang,
Solar Serve team
Called to Serve