Solar Cooking Project at the Korando Educational Center

Solar Cooking Project at the Korando Educational Center

Community project, Humanitarian project
Leo Tolstoy once said, “Add your light to the sum of light,” and so even darkness is brightened by the countless candle flames of people illuminating their individual corners of the night. So Mama Dolfine, overcame the tragedy of her own personal darknesses to found the Korando Educational Center —a non-formal school and orphanage on the outskirts of Kisumu, Kenya. She started with seven boys—and now gives her love and care to more than 200 children, over 30 of whom live in her own house. And the sum of light continues to expand. Volunteers cross oceans to be part of this remarkable vision—and it’s not just caring for orphans, but creating an ethos of sustainability. Contributions have helped nurture the dream, too, providing electricity and potable water and making considerable progress…
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Solar Cooking Pilot Project in Haiti

Solar Cooking Pilot Project in Haiti

Clean stove project, Community project
  In 2015, together with Solar Electric Light Fund and Solar Household Energy (SHE), we at One Earth Designs started a project in Tilori, Haiti - a small rural community on the Dominican Republic border. The project’s goal was to bring 25 SolSource solar stoves to Tilori and teach residents how to use them to replace traditional cooking methods. Tilori, with a population of fewer than 5,000 people, sits on the border of Haiti and the Dominican Republic. It was selected for this pilot project because its inhabitants are the principal users of the forest of Sabana Clara--a remnant mix of pine and broadleaf forest. Biodiversity like Sabana Clara’s plays an important role in the restoration of Haiti’s degraded ecosystems.     Haiti suffers from severe deforestation and consequent land erosion.…
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Fighting Air Pollution in Rural China

Fighting Air Pollution in Rural China

Clean stove project, Community project
  In 2007, while studying chemistry at Wellesley College, I traveled to the Himalayan Plateau to study climate change. As usual, however, I decided to add my own little science experiment into the mix. I took air quality monitors with me and literally wore them on my body as I traveled across China. I thought that the air pollution levels I measured in Beijing and other large cities were already very high. Then, I arrived in the Himalayas and had an experience that shook the foundations of my assumptions about air pollution and health. A local family invited me into their home. When I told them I was studying “smoke in the sky”, everyone burst out laughing. “The sky is so blue”, they replied, “why study that when there is…
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SolSource Solar Cooker Fighting Cookstove Smoke

SolSource Solar Cooker Fighting Cookstove Smoke

Community project, Education project
While working with Maasai families in Kenya, Niccolo, Madison, and Adam–students from the University of San Diego–realized open fire cooking inside homes was causing high rates of respiratory illnesses among women and children (approximately 25 out of 1,000 children die in Maasai communities before the age of 5 due to cookstove smoke). They wanted to take concrete action towards positive change so they called us and we worked together to bring SolSource to the Maasai communities where they were working in order to improve health, increase energy access, and lower fuel costs. Supported by the Maasai Association, a community-based, non-profit organization located in Bellevue, Washington and Kenya, the team brought SolSource to the Merrueshi community to seek the community’s feedback and test it for cooking local foods.     The…
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Urban Transition in China’s Wild West

Urban Transition in China’s Wild West

Community project, Learnings, Viewpoint
I can't describe how wonderful it feels to be back in Xining, reconnecting with friends here. Even so, I want even more to escape back to the villages once again. Qinghai has long been considered the 'wild west' of China because of its large nomadic population. My colleagues and friends have all heard about Qinghai's nomads and farmers from me before, but I have seldom spoken of its urban condition and the massive urbanization pressures transforming its lands. This story is perhaps a darker tale so read on only if you are prepared for the grim reality of industrial transition. Here in Xining, the capital city of Qinghai, the smell of coal pervades the streets and infiltrates the homes. The building I am staying in has its own coal-fired power…
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