January 2013: The GRADES-AFRICA Foundation is planning to hold solar cooker workshops at selected churches - They are located around the commercial city of Cotonou in Benin. Our experience working with schools shows that after teaching the technology to students, it was intended they go back home, to try to teach their parents. However during this process, most students could not properly pass on the technology, and unfortunately their parents lost interest. In the upcoming program, GRADES-AFRICA intends to directly teach women's groups at selected churches. The workshops will run March through May 2013, and will include approximately five churches and 130 participants.
November 2008:Solar Cookers International (SCI) plans to assist with efforts to bring safe water and integrated cooking methods to the central town of Copargo. The pilot project is being initiated by Gabriel Kpadonou, sanitation and public hygiene officer at the Ministry of Health in Cotonou, and executive director of the nonprofit organization Environmental Engineering Group (EEG). Through increased visibility and furthered collaborations with health and water professionals in neighboring countries such as Niger, Togo and Burkina Faso, SCI hopes that this opportunity will provide a gateway to increased activities in West Africa. The coming year looks to be an exciting one, with the expansion of programs to three new countries and the inclusion of integrated cooking methods and water testing into current and future projects. Trees in rural areas cannot replenish themselves as quickly as they are being cut down for fuel, and contaminated water cannot purify itself at the rate that microorganisms are causing disease, and so our mission continues.