Rendering of the briquette shelter designed by 5H
Dear Friend and Supporter:
Last time we touched base, Kim had just returned from Africa and had exciting news about the progress of our project at the Rubaare Educational Foundation in Rubaare, UG. This time we are happy to announce, that based on your excellent response to our appeal and some fundraising by the Seven Bridges Middle School in Westchester County, NY, we are ready to build the much needed shelter for briquette production in Rubaare.
As you can see from the rendering, the shelter is not only elegant, airy, and functional, it also integrates environmentally friendly features, such as rain-water capture, and all local materials that have been assessed for sustainability. How do we know this? We’ve done the due diligence on the source of the materials, for one. More importantly, however, the shelter is designed by 5H Architecture in New York, a firm that specializes in high-end, LEEDs certified structures. (Full disclosure: Alex Stojanovic, one of the principles at the firm, is on the Board of Advisers of TCP. Thank you 5H!)
For financial sustainability reasons, our plan is to build the structure in two phases. The immediate priority is to get a roof over the heads of the briquette making operation and operators. Once the shelter is built, the students will continue to produce briquettes unimpeded by rain. We can then turn to the next phase of our program, which is providing the schools with clean cookstoves. We are very excited about this phase, which will dramatically improve the health of staff and students involved in food preparation. This step will also reduce the schools fuel consumption and the excess briquette production can be sold to the community for income to the school. The net result is better health, reduced financial expenditures, and reduced consumption of unsustainability harvested and inefficiently produced wood energy.
REF has six schools, each feeding at least 200-300 students, and standard clean cookstoves cannot accommodate the large pots used for institutional cooking. With your generous financial support, however, we can build a custom institutional stove for each school, which will accommodate their needs. Fortunately, Global Giving has a Donor Matching Day coming on June 13th, which will increase the value of each of your donations.
In the 18 months since we began working with Henry and the REF team our understanding of the project has matured beyond our original intention to produce better fuels and better stoves for the school and the community. Today, it is clear to our African partners and ourselves that together we are training the next generation of developers of energy efficient and renewable energy solutions.
So thank you again for all your past support and please consider helping get the REF schools to the next level on the path to energy sufficiency.
Kim and Sylvia