The Solar Association Tiloo is a solar cooking manufacturing company founded by Elena Steger-Kassama and Amadou Kassama in 2006. Initially the company was located in the community of Fajikunda in the Kanifing Municipal Council area of The Gambia, and has since relocated to No. 18 Mr. P. Street, Kanifing South, The Gambia.
The initial purpose of the association, with their first batch of cookers and stoves produced in 2006, was to make solar cooking more widely known across the country, and to also convince people of the need for solar cooking.
The Solar Association Tiloo, which formerly established its own solar cooker and stove making workshop in early 2007, also made it's mission to bring down the cost of living for each family, by using this economical, cheap, and healthy way of cooking.
To further express the purpose of this project, the founders established a food restaurant called Elena's Solar Food Restaurant, with a menu serving both local and continental dishes.
It is their aim to encourage people to learn how we use the sun for cooking, baking, as well as, roasting peanuts and drying fruits.
By learning to use the solar cooking on a regular basis, you indirectly join the fight to save our forests. This is therefore your contribution in helping curb the advance of deforestation in the country.
The group is currently visiting schools to demonstrate and promote solar cooking. At each school, a student is chosen and trained for five days in how to use and care for a solar oven. The student is given two solar cookers, as well as a package which contains:
- 1 bag of flower
- 1 bag of sugar
- 1 crate of eggs
- 10kg of butter
- 1 carton yeast
- 1 tin of baking powder
The goal is for the student to sell the food that he or she makes and donate the proceeds to the school.
The cost of a solar cooker is very affordable and it gives someone a chance to open a small business of selling bread, cakes, and other baked goods.
Solar Association Tiloo is divided into three parts:
- The Solar bakery (which makes solar baking and solar food popular. The bakery is creating an income for local people through solar baking and cooking. It employs as well trainees.
- The Solar Restaurant (where our guests can enjoy anything from a solar breakfast to a solar cooked dinner)
- Carpentry shop for making solar cookers and tunnel dryers localy to create more employment and reduce the cost of the solar equipment
Solar bakery and restaurant
The best examples of success is the bakery and the restaurant. They really make solar food popular. Through our daily presentations in the street with delicious solar baked cakes and cookies we generate a lot of interest, and curious patrons. The bakery sets an example of how it is possible to generate an income with solar baking. Our products are to be found along the coast in different supermarkets, small shops and along the beach. The project's restaurant serves solar baked cakes and pastries in a natural environment. The project is also visited by tourists on city tours. The tours are a great opportunity for the visitors to get unforgettable memories of their holiday in Gambia, by bringing a small solar gift for their friends and relatives back home from the Solar Association Tiloo. The feedbacks has been very positive.
News and recent developments
- January 2011: Solar Association Tiloo, founded in 2006, started a new program at the end of 2009: 7 pilot schools in different regions received one solar oven each. They obliged to use the oven for one year in various ways. In doing so they have to earn at least 1,250 Fr. by selling solar products. When the contractual aim is successfully reached, the students receive a certificate and a new solar oven, which is then in turn given by them to another self determined school under the same conditions. In this way a snowball-effect is started designed to engender the countrywide distribution of the solar oven among the young generation. On 23rd January 2011 that moment was attained: The first certificate ceremony was celebrated with public figures, representatives of seven schools and guests from all over the country.
- Solar Association Tiloo's Facebook page
Solar Association Tiloo
18, Mr. P Street
Swiss contact: Elena Steger-Kassama
Tel: +41 43-377-94-81