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Newsletter No.46 Jan. 2016
The year 2016 is already
several days old. Our wish for you is that everything will turn out for
good. Don’t give up! Although the world is shaking, we have decided not
to hold back. There are still many things to do. We learn from the ants
that they refuse to take it easy. They are working hard and storing up
against the coming time. We also do not want to just look a few feet in
front of us by not preparing for the future. So, here are some goals
for the coming year!
Plans for 2016
We will multiply the number of clean
cookers for minorities made in our factory. We also want to expand our
family business trainings in areas near Dalat, Mekong Delta, Kontum and
Quang Nam. In the mean time we will develop a new solar light model
this year for dark mountain areas and a new solar water pump model
(read below) for poor farmers. We also purchased more land (14x17.5
mtr) beside our center after receiving a wonderful donation, and are
considering several options to use it this new year!
We are researching some
existing solar water pump models. We found a suitable pump in Hanoi
which could be connected to several solar panels. Although it is
working fine we want to make our own model. It is a great tool for
pumping water to remote areas where there is no electricity nearby. It
can be used for pumping water for drinking, sanitation, filling tanks
and irrigation. Water pumping is clean and efficient. Solar water
systems never run out of fuel as long as the sun is shining.
Family Business Training
The last three months we
have been extending our Family Business Training in the mountains,
which covers 4 sessions of three days each. Most of the 30- 40
participants in each course are already running a family business.
Because of a lack of understanding of basic principles they are not
successful. The FBT is an eye opener and after they receive their
certificate we have heard many of the following stories:
Sadness into joy
After a divorce a woman
had problems with managing her finances. She became very depressed and
decided to end her life. She failed and ended up in a hospital. After
being released she joined one of our Family Business Training (FBT).
The leaders noticed her sadness and paid special attention to her. She
got new hope and learned how to manage her business well by raising
special animals for restaurants. She became very successful and is
doing well financially. It turned her life around!
Another woman at the FBT
course had a hair & massage shop. Competition in her town rose
when many shops got involved in sex massage. Although temptation was
high, she refused to be involved in doing business as the others. She
lost clients and was desperate when she attended the FBT. When she
learned and applied the moral principles of doing business, she got a
lot of customers back. Now she is happy with her shop and doing even
better than her competitors.
Another man raised
chickens for a special purpose. He created a unique natural way to make
the chickens stronger. The only drawback was that he did not know how
to make it into an effective business for his family. He was encouraged
to make a business model when he attended the FBT course. He invested a
lot of time in it and during the course he already started to apply it
in his own situation. Now he is so successful that he has run out of
More than three years
We could tell you more
stories like these. Till now we have been helping poor minorities in
the mountains. They do not know how to use their natural resources. It
is great to see them waking up. We are also able to introduce them to
our clean cookers. They find them very useful and even want to buy them
or sponsor others, even into Laos. We have made around 6730 clean
cookers in more than three years. Half of them have been sold or
Making 170 children happy
Some leaders of the FBT
club and a few of their students donated some money for helping poor
schoolchildren of the Ca Dong minority. They contacted a schoolteacher
and she recommended three minority schools with a total of 170 pupils.
The day before Christmas they loaded their vehicles with 170 bags full
of wonderful Christmas gifts. It was unforgettable because the pupils
had never been exposed to the love of Christmas. This will always be
printed in their hearts.
After several minorities
chose ours as one of their favorite clean stoves, the women’s union in
Thanh Hoa wanted to open several agencies. Several demonstrations were
arranged by SNV who had already supplied 60 of our stoves. Again the
minorities showed their apprecia-tion, but they could not open any
agency unless the stoves are either half or fully sponsored. They live
in such poverty that often luxury things are not found in their huts or
The 80 year old father of
Bich (our director) was hit by a motorbike and broke his arm and leg.
At the hospital they also discovered that his spinal-cord was damaged
near his neck. An operation was not possible. It needed to be cured
with medicines before they could do any surgery. Amazingly he recovered
very well and the operation was successful. His family had to take care
of him in the hospital. After four weeks he was released from hospital
and is now recovering well at his home.
Wedding and syrup waffles
Matthijs, one of the
workgroup members in Holland, who did research on solar stills this
year, got married with his Jozina. The wedding took place in a
beautiful old church and was attended by many people including the
whole workgroup. The group has also been selling many packages of
delicious syrup waffles (stroopwafels) to support our projects. Dutch
people like to eat those waffles with their coffee, so they were able
to sell a lot of packages, even more than last year.
We had a great time with
our staff and friends during Christmas. It all started with decorating
our Christmas tree together, telling a special Christmas story and
playing a funny exchange game. Tho and Thuy Vy and others prepared a
special dinner and some guests were invited. We all enjoyed the food.
We also had designed a new Solar Serve shirt for special occasions and
before the staff left for home they all received a special Christmas
box with goodies to enjoy during their
• We got an invitation to
hold an FBT course in Malaysia for Vietnamese overseas workers.
• Our Moringa seeds are
also used in Turkey and Holland. Some were
planted in greenhouses.
More minorities have
been supplied with our clean cookers. Here are
some pictures including the Ma minority
• We are in contact with
someone working in Cambodia for SNV, (you mention SNV a couple of times
in the letter but don’t explain what it stands for) who is considering
a clean cookers project with us.
• After we sold our truck
we found out that transporting our clean
cookers with a company is faster, safer and even cheaper.
That’s all for now. Keep
in contact and have a wonderful 2016.
Solar Serve team
Called to Serve