Things just keep looking up for our REF school project in Uganda and our plan to replicate and scale the program.
That's because, as I write to you, our very own Sylvia Herzog has probably landed in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, on a whirlwind East Africa tour that will eventually take her to visit our BFF and REF school director, Henry Twinesmasiko. Sylvia's detour through Tanzania is not to check out the sights in Zanzibar. She's actually on her way to visit several early stage, entrepreneur-driven briquette programs in the region as part of our newly minted Harvest Fuel Initiative for sub-Saharan Africa.
First let me tell you about Henry and the REF school since our last report.
As it turns out, we are in the process of figuring out the best cooking stove solution that can be designed and built to meet the school's need. The aim with this clean cookstove is first and foremost to reduce the REF school's overall consumption of wood for the daily cooking of breakfast, lunch, and dinner for the 600 students that attend the REF school in Rubaare. Once we're satisfied with the stove's performance, we will replace traditional stoves at other REF schools with these more fuel efficient, clean burning options.
Overall, our aim with deploying these stoves at the high school is to establish a sustainable alternative solid biomass fuel solution that integrates briquette making for carbonized biomass, efficient conversion to charcoal, and efficient cookstoves.Believe it or not, it's not that easy to find a good efficient cookstove model for the region! We hope to have some stove models to share by the end of the year.
How this ties into Sylvia's trip is quite simple:
It turns out her trip is actually also a reconnaissance mission to meet with fuel briquette entrepreneurs in East Africa as part of an ambitious program we've signed with the amazing folks at D-Lab at MIT to identify, accelerate, and expand the replication of sustainable solid biomass fuel alternatives across the region. And the way this will benefit Henry Twinemasiko and the 1600 low income students that REF schools serve is that Henry will have access to more technology and business solutions through this program.
The collaboration with D-Lab is an incredibly exciting opportunity and a testament to the interest that institutions like MIT have developed in our REF Biomass Energy Efficiency Program in Uganda.
Speaking of the REF, we estimate it will take about 5 thousand dollars (we to source and build this stove. Nevertheless, we're looking for a model that can be replicated elsewhere and scaled, so stay tuned! And please donate today on this 30% match day, which means that, for example, for every $100 you donate we get $130.
Kim, Henry, Sylvia and everyone at the REF schools in Rubaare, Uganda!
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