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 Newsletter No.40 April 2014

 Dear friends,

1 Danang welcomed the lunar New Year with fireworks, celebrations and many displays. It was a wonderful time for families and friends to meet each other. Most people work very hard during the year and often 7 days a week. In Solar Serve we keep it to 6 days a week. A few days before the New Year we had a wonderful celebration at our center. Everyone received an extra bonus and we closed for two weeks. Now we are open again and would like to share some exciting things. We hope you enjoy it.    

2

Opportunity to get involved

We are a social enterprise and our purpose is to have an impact in society. We do this by making environmentally friendly equipment for people so that their lives will be changed and improved. Last year we got the impression that we should do more and came up with a plan which started on February 11th and will last for one year. The exciting thing is that it also gives you an opportunity to get involved. So we ask you to fasten your seat belts when we share this with you.

3The need

According to Global Alliance For Clean Cookstoves more than 58 million people in Vietnam are affected by household air pollution which causes 23,800 deaths per year. The effect of cooking on traditional cooking stoves and using wrong fuel are the main contributors of those deaths. Therefore cooking with improved clean stoves can save thousands of lives.

Our plan

This year we are going to make 7000 improved clean stoves and 500 parabolic cookers at our center in order to help low income families in rural areas. We will choose the families in need and will deliver the stoves and cookers during the year. We also will give you the opportunity to sponsor one or more clean stoves or cookers. The sponsored family will know your name and country and we will send you a picture and name of the family.

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     Option 1

    Option 2

        Option 3

Three options

So we want to give you and also schools, clubs, churches, companies, organizations or NGO’s an opportunity to help a poor family with one or more clean stoves or parabolic cookers. It will save lives and improve health.
1. Help a family with an improved clean stove. It can be used daily and produces less smoke. It only needs small branches for fuel, so trees do not need to be cut down.
2. Help a family with a parabolic cooker. The cooker heats fast, without losing any fuel costs. Only sunshine is needed and ideal for boiling water and cooking other food.
3. Help a family with clean stove & parabolic cooker. The clean stove can be used during rainy or cloudy days and the parabolic cooker can be used for free when there is sunshine. An ideal combination!

7What must you do?

If you live outside Vietnam please enter our sponsorship page on our Website. Fill out the form, like you buy goods (shipping – transportation costs and tax in Vietnam are already included) and we will deliver your choice to one or more families. We will send you a picture and the name of the family. If you are Vietnamese you should contact Solar Serve for your local sponsorship bank transfers. Again we are not asking for support but we would like to give you an opportunity to get involved.

New workers

We needed more workers, so the word went out and after a short time a young man of a mountain tribe applied for a job. Later three others of the same tribe followed. Now the 4H’s (Han, Hai, Hieu and Hao) live together at a place near our center. Their mountain village is located a three hour drive from Danang. Another young man with a hearing impairment applied for a job too. He is full of joy and fun. We love to see more workers like him.

Special school bags

A social entrepreneur in Vietnam designed a special schoolbag that helps pupils to stay floating when they fall into a river. Eleven years ago 18 pupils drowned in a mountain village after an overcrowded ferry sank. The business club in Danang decided to provided 80 bags to pupils of the school and showed their respect to the ones who died. One of them had saved two others, but drowned when he wanted to save another one. The whole event touched the members deeply!

Korea, Belgium, Congo, N-Ireland and Australia

A Korean reporter visited our center several times and became very enthusiastic. She invited 24 college students from Korea to visit us. After they arrived our director and assistant gave them a short introduction. They were eager to learn and asked lots of questions. In a similar way we had some visitors from Belgium & Congo and a delegation who worked for an organization in Northern Ireland. We also had a visitor from Australia who works for an NGO. All of them understood the need for environmentally friendly equipment in order to sell, provide or help. We were very encouraged!

Finally

14• We had our second gathering in Saigon with people who are interested in using their business to change society. Although some participants of the first gathering could not come, we were still together with twelve people. We used a guidebook for our meetings which was written by a Swiss consultant and published in Hanoi for Vietnamese readers. After watching a video for ‘multiplication’, we finished the two days gathering with several new ideas in order to make a social enterprise practical.
14 • We also worked together with SNV a development organization from the Netherlands. Their purpose is to help people out of poverty and that locals can follow their own sustainable development. For 50 years they have been working in 38 countries and using their expertise in agriculture, renewable energy and water, sanitation & hygiene. They tested our new clean stove last month and it was accepted as an effective cooker. We are very happy about this and it helps us to promote it in Vietnam
14 • Solar Cookers International (SCI) invites solar cooking researchers, promoters, advocates, designers, project directors, and manufacturers with experience in the transfer of solar cooking technologies to attend the SCI net Solar Cooking Convention from July 17-19, 2014 in Sacramento, California, United States. For more information and registration click here. We also had two people from SCI visiting us lately. They were very interested and very generous with a personal donation for our work.

That is all for now. We hope you are inspired. Remember us during this year, especially when the workers have to make many clean stoves and parabolic cookers. Also when some of our staff have to visit the villages for choosing the families and to work with the local women unions to make this project successful. And if you want to be involved in helping those poor families please follow the information mentioned in this letter. Thanks a lot !!.
Greetings,
Solar Serve team

Called to Serve


For more information write to: solarserve@yahoo.com