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Hard-won lessons

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Solar cooking integrated into village life

How solar cooking can integrate into village life

It is best to focus on small goals and accomplish them with great intensity. It is better to drive one nail all the way into the wood than to only scratch the surface with ten nails. It is better to plant one tree and nurture it to full growth than to plant a hundred trees that wither away quickly in the dry season.

Applied to solar cooker promotion, these comparisons suggest a few other ideas:

  • It is better to take the time to teach one woman to become an expert solar cook who makes great solar cooked food than to demonstrate solar cooking to ten government officials who will nod their heads in agreement but never do anything with the idea.
  • It is better to show one skilled handyman or handywoman or carpenter how to make usable solar cookers than to demonstrate the concept to 300 people who won't be able to make use of the concept because they have no solar cookers and no one to teach them how to use one.
  • It is better to make sure that one new solar cook learns all that is needed to make good use of a solar cooker and to gain practice and confidence in using it, than to give brief lessons to ten solar cooks who might later give up on solar cooking at the first obstacle or setback.
  • The initial magical enthusiasm may die off and people may go back to their old ways. Solar cooking projects require a long-term commitment and funds to support training and follow-up.

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