In June of 1999, Alice Hoenecke, introduced solar panel cooking to Mrs. Agnes Andriamanantsoa, a sociologist, in Antananarivo, and Miss Sosana Suzanne, nutritionist and health worker, Ejeda. These Malagasy women work with SALFA, the health department fo the Malagasy Lutheran Church, which serves the country through a system of 25 hospitals and health clinics.
Solar Cooking prepares food by directing the rays of the sun off a reflective material onto a dark colored pot. Of the most commonly used solar cooker types, the panel is the least expensive, easiest to make, and most convenient to transport. With only 10% of the forests of Madagascar remaining and the scarcity of wood, the people of the poor and deforested southwestern region are eager to cook with the sun. The rising cost of wood fuels resulting from its scarcity leaves people with limited money with which to buy food.
Presently, the privately funded project is carried on in cooperation with Pathologists Overseas, Inc. SALFA Overseas Assistance, and SALFA-Madagascar. The Del Mar Solana Beach Rotary donates a solar cooker each week in honor of the program speaker.