Class in session
Dear Friends and Supporters,
A big step forward is underway in the project "Tracking clean cookstoves and fuel in Haiti." During the reporting period September - November 2018 an innovative college course has begun on solar cooking, biodigesters for biogas and garden fertilizer and related steps toward entrepreneurship. In addition to the present report, many photos from PPAF and our collaborators can be seen at www.ppafoundation.org/gallery.html.
The Vice-Rector at the Université Notre Dame d'Haiti in Hinche (UNDH-H), a faculty supervisor and a group of students and recent graduates have for several months aimed to establish such a course there. PPAF helped refine their project proposal and is now funding teaching and related costs for the first run of the one-semester course. Colleagues from several organizations, including Persons Helping People, Solar CITIES Global Biogas Education, Solar Cookers International, Solar Education Project and Solavore LLC have contributed their technical expertise to the syllabus and reference materials. Additional organizations may well come on board as the work progresses. The PPAF Executive Director welcomed students on the first day of the solar classes and made a presentation on how solar cooking relates to each of the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals. Upon review of a report on the initial experiences PPAF intends to cover a repeat of the course next spring.
Twenty students are enrolled and participate in classroom sessions, workshops and light lunches prepared on solar and biogas cookers. The course fits well into the academic programs of UNDH-H, which comprise biosciences, medical biology and nursing. Health, environment and poverty consequences of charcoal for daily cooking are recognized burdens, and concerns to overcome these are part of the ethos of the university.
The course is significant in several ways. Its solar and biogas halves are innovative and experimental, the first known time to be taught in Haiti and probably not together anywhere else. The course materials have been developed through teamwork and translated into French. Classes are taught mainly in French but also Creole and sometimes with portions in English with translations. Experts from outside contribute by Skype or in PowerPoint slide sets submitted in advance and shown on screen in the classroom. The instructors are UNDH-H faculty and recent graduates who have themselves been learning and experimenting on campus through membership in the student group “Comite Biogaz et Recho Soley.”
The Vice Rector and the student team are eager to develop a hub for teaching about, making and selling solar and biogas equipment once a basis for this has been created. PPAF and cooperating organizations are engaged in ways to help, including support toward consideration of a project by an international funding source operating in Haiti.
In relation to other aspects of the project, PPAF continues its linkage with the Haiti Adolescent Girls Network, where several solar ovens are being tested in selected “My Space” girls clubs in Port-au-Prince. Discussions are underway for future collaboration targeting young mothers. Regarding small business and home use of solar ovens in Cotes de Fer, our colleague who heads its hometown association plans a return trip this December.
Dear friends -- The aims of the project “Tracking clean cookstoves and fuel in Haiti” focus on instruction, materials and management. The college course underway at UNDH-H is particularly important and shows the values of innovation, partnership and enthusiasm. We look forward to assessing the initial semester’s experiences, publicizing the results and promoting expansion. Your donations are making this possible. Thank you for your support!
Students learn to build a biodigester
Cooking on a simple biogas stove
Reviewing a Solavore Sport solar oven
Learning about the SK14 parabolic solar cooker
Class instructors speaking & connecting to Skype