Clean Fuels and Cookstoves for Schools in Uganda

by The Charcoal Project
Sep 5, 2012

Next Stop? A Better Stove.

View of the new shelter under construction.
View of the new shelter under construction.

Dear Friends,

First, a note of gratitude.

Since launching our effort a year ago on Global Giving, a total of 77 people like you have donated 94 times to raise a combined $7,810 for our Biomass Energy Efficiency Project in Rubaare, Uganda. Although the largest donations have come from the team effort of the student body at the Seven Bridges Middle School in Westchester County, New York, we are grateful to all of you who have stepped up to the challenge.

No one is more grateful, however, than school director Henry Twinemasiko. I say this because I know that Henry has had to make painful budget choices based on the ever increasing cost of woodfuel and gasoline for transport.

The funds you've contributed have helped the school start its own fuel-briquette-making project, which today is saving the school thousands of dollars each term in woodfuel cooking costs. Your donations have also helped build a shelter on the school grounds that will house the fuel briquetting activity. The shelter is especially important because the rainy season plays havoc on fuel-briquette production.

Out with the old. In with the new.

With some of the funds we have left on hand, our plan with Henry is swap out the old, inefficient -- and highly toxic -- cookstoves for more clean-burning and efficient ones.

Ma, why do they need a new stove?

Why is having a clean burning, efficient cookstove important? For one, it will save the school even more money on fuel costs. That’s because, when it’s time to cook, the better stoves will use fewer briquettes and/or woodfuel overall. The better stoves will also reduce the incredibly toxic smoke that chokes the kitchens during the cooking process. As you may know, toxic indoor air pollution from cooking on inefficient cookstoves kills about 2 million people each year around the world, mostly women and children. In short, clean cookstoves save lives and make business sense!

More money saved means we are one step closer to inagurating the first High School in Uganda dedicated to Renewable Fuels and Technologies. How cool is that?!

Finding the right fit

For our improved cookstove project, we estimate it will cost $5,000 to $7,000 USD to get a stove designed and built that can meet the school’s needs. We’ll be looking for stoves that can burn wood or briquettes and, believe it or not, they are not easy to find! Plus, we want to make sure the stoves we build at the school meet international indoor air pollution and efficiency standards and can be replicated at the other schools inside and out of the REF network. So your donation is not paying for just one stove, it's going to help build multiple stoves at the other REF schools. We will share with you the design of the stove over the coming weeks!

The TCP partnership with REF schools is not only about helping one school in one community. TCP and REF see this as a tremendous opportunity to establish a model for renewable energy and efficient technology. Our shared vision is to see our project replicated many times again in African schools over the coming months and years! So, please keep supporting us, if you can!

And please don’t hesitate to contact Sylvia or myself if you have any questions. We can be reached at or

And thank you for your continued support!

-- Kim

The students help build the shelter.
The students help build the shelter.
A work-study program provides hands-on experience.
A work-study program provides hands-on experience.
Next: upgrading these toxic, inefficient stoves
Next: upgrading these toxic, inefficient stoves

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Organization Information

The Charcoal Project

Location: Brooklyn, NY - USA
Website: http:/​/​
The Charcoal Project
Project Leader:
Sylvia Herzog
Mount Kisco, NY United States

Funded Project!

Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.

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