Global Resource Alliance (GRA), a Californian non-profit organization, is partnering with Solar Cookers International (SCI) to promote solar cooking in the Lake Victoria Region of Tanzania. GRA and SCI organized their first workshop in October 2008 in collaboration with Brother Sergio Vasquez from the Catholic church. The workshop was lead by Solar Cookers International East Africa Office. John Amayo was the main teacher. The workshop was an excellent introduction to solar cooking for the community, and since then, hundreds of people have taken solar cooking workshops sponsored by GRA. Many participants have purchased subsidized Solar Cookits to continue on at home.The Cookit can save users over $15 per month on charcoal – not to mention prevent deforestation, eliminate deadly indoor smoke and provide nutritious meals with very little attention required.
In September 2009, SCI's Director of International Program Development, Karyn Ellis, from California, and the Director of SCI Eastern Africa, Margaret Owino, taught a training of trainers workshop at the GRA office in Musoma. They lead an advanced course for more than 25 certified teachers with emphasis in training other members of the community in solar food preparation techniques and water pasteurization, as well as creating income generating opportunities with solar cooking for themselves.
In August 2010, GRA won the first place regional award and second place national award at "Nane Nane" - Tanzania's largest farming and agriculture expo! Every year over ten thousand people gather for the three day Nane Nane (8/8) celebration. GRA was invited by the Tanzanian government to present permaculture, solar cooking and rammed earth block construction. Our exhibit was received by over 1,000 attendees who were treated to samples of solar cooked meat and sweet potatoes. GRA's staff educated people on the many benefits of solar cooking from smokeless cooking to preventing deforestation to easy water pasteurization. On the final day, GRA presented a solar cooked cake to the Guest of Honor and other government officials.
In May 2010, GRA received funding from The Ferguson Foundation (TFF) to offer 50 free, one-day solar cooking workshops to rural Tanzanian residents in 2011. TFF also provided funding to subsidize approx 1,300 solar cook kits for very poor families. After one or two months, workshop participants will be invited to another free workshop to share recipes, cover any questions they may have and receive further training and encouragement to continue enjoying the benefits of solar cooking.
GRA Tanzania has a beautiful office space on a half acre compound provided for free by the government. Here they are able to store the solar cooking materials, assemble cookits, provide solar cooking classes, teach permaculture, provide a meeting place for participants in their orphans program and store equipment for the GRA water project. With the help of Solar Cookers International, GRA's office in Musoma has become a well established Solar Cooking education site of Tanzania.
News and recent developments
- November 2011: The Global Resource Alliance began teaching in 2008, and have introduced solar cooking to over 1000 people in Tanzania. Since 2009, they have also manufactured and distributed over 900 solar cookers.
- January 2011: Global Resource Alliance received a generous grant from the Ferguson Foundation to offer 50 solar cooking workshops in the Mara Region of Tanzania and over 1,000 subsidized Solar CooKits. This, in addition to a grant from WeForest and Deliotte Belgium to plant 130,000 trees over the next two years, will help restore this heavily deforested area and prevent many health problems and deaths related to smoke inhalation.
- August 2010: Statements from Global Resource Alliance Tanzania training officer, Christopher Gamba, with video Solar cooking reaches northern Tanzania - Africa News
- December 2009: Ojai Noble Peace Prize Recipients Back from Africa -- Will Present Progam on Ending World Hunger - The Ojai Post
- October 2009: A training of trainers took place in Musoma, Tanzania for the Global Resource Alliance. Thirty Tanzanians graduated as solar cooking trainers. The training was provided by Solar Cookers International and Solar Cooking Kenya. Participants learned to prepare and cook a wide variety of foods, pasteurize water and how to build and use their own solar cookers and fireless cookers.
- May 2010: GRA received funding from The Ferguson Foundation to hold 50 solar cooking workshops in the Musoma area of Tanzania in 2010.
Global Resource Alliance, Inc.
963 Oso Rd.
Ojai, CA 93023
Tel: +1 (805) 646-4439