Rotary district 6450 started the Temple Solar Project in 1997 to help people to empower themselves through self-sustaining, solar micro-bakeries. Project leaders arrange partnerships with Rotary clubs in receiving nations and facilitate funding to purchase large Villager Sun Ovens®, produced by Sun Ovens International, Inc. Receiving clubs arrange for the delivery, setup and training of crews to put the projects into effect. Since inception, the Temple Solar Project has facilitated the start-up of more than 95 solar bakeries on five continents.
These bakeries serve multiple functions, depending on the needs of the particular community in which they are used. Numerous villages in 40 countries are now home to trained villagers who manage bakeries that produce food for their communities and produce a small profit from sales to outsiders. A tiny bakery in the Dominican Republic, operated by a parish priest, is the sole source of baked goods for people living in nearby communities in Haiti. Elsewhere in the Dominican Republic, a school for the blind uses two large ovens to teach their students operating skills, self-sufficiency and business methods. In Angola, a school of 4000 uses a solar oven to produce 1000 meals per day for students.
During the current Rotary funding cycle it is projected that eight additional Villager Sun Ovens® will be distributed.
In addition to the Villager sized ovens Temple Solar has donated over 400 family sized ovens to individuals.
These ovens are fully insulated and as such heat much faster and to higher temperatures (400 F in 2 hrs in bright sun) than uninsulated ovens
- See Temple Solar Project.