Last updated: May 3, 2016
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, but has since relocated to No. 18 Mr. P. Street, Kanifing South, The Gambia.
With their first batch of solar cookers and stoves produced in 2006, the initial purpose of the association was to make solar cooking more widely known across the country by educating residents about the need for solar cooking.
The Solar Association Tiloo established its own solar cooker and stove making workshop in early 2007 and made it's mission to bring down the cost of living for individual families by using this inexpensive and healthy type of cooking. 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.
To further express the purpose of this project, the founders established a solar restaurant called Elena's Solar Food Restaurant with a menu serving both local and continental dishes.
The group currently has two ongoing projects in the Gambia:
- Information sessions: One of The Solar Association Gambia's primary goals is to share information about how to solar cook and its benefits. They hold information sessions and participate in events year-round to educate local communities about the environmental and health benefits of solar cooking.
- School program: The Solar Association Gambia visits 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
By solar cooking on a regular basis, you indirectly join the fight to help curb the advance of deforestation in The Gamia and around the world.
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.
See also: Solar restaurants and bakeries
News and recent developments
- March 2016: A new group came for a course in solar fruit drying to our project center in Latriya, the Gambia.
- December 2015: The Solar Association Tiloo Gambia (S.A.T.) organized with its partner SenDeGel Association, the Kartong Women Association and the Dumbuto Women Association a two-day training on solar cooking and solar drying at the Tiloo Project center in Latriya. With the help of the Solar Association Tiloo Switzerland we were enabled to train these women from Kartong and Dumbuto to cook their food and bake their cakes in a solar cooker for selling, to dry fruits and vegetables in a solar tunnel dryer, and to boil water on a parabolic mirror (or also in a solar cooker) with the free power of the sun. This reduces the emissions of charcoal that the women would normally use, benefiting the women monetarily and environmentally. One woman from Dumbuto reported that she spends D:112 a week on charcoal. With the help of the Solar Association Tiloo, she can make a one-time purchase of a solar cooker and save on the weekly expense of charcoal. The training was so successful that the women are willing to recommend this training to other groups of women.
- October 2015: Group of 50 women visit Tiloo Center to learn solar cooking and other skills - Solar Association Gambia welcomed a group of 50 women at the Tiloo Center where they learned how to solar cook and dry. This helps them to get the most value out of their garden by preserving the food and selling it for a source of income. Read more...
- September 2015: Solar Association Gambia (TILOO) is happy to present its new Tiloo solar cooker line, which will be ready for sale at the Solar Association Gambia Center from November 2015 onwards. These cookers are excellent for wood-free cooking or baking and better than the traditional way of cooking with fire stoves: it preserves more nutrients and minerals in your food, produces no smoke in the house and is environmentally friendlier. Besides the normal food, it can also be used to produce jams, snacks or cosmetic articles (such as soaps) for sale, creating an additional income for the household.
- November 2012: GloboSol annual report The Gambia - Tiloo - The success-story started in 2006 when a Swiss woman Elena Steger-Kassama, together with her Gambian husband, introduced solar cooking and baking to his family. From humble beginnings she developed a project of admirable diversity with an infallible flair for the sensible and the practicable. Soon Elena Steger also managed to generate the financial means for the various projects mostly on her own initiative. In August 2011 a big aim was reached: the project founded its own association named Solar Association Tiloo. This step into independence fulfilled the general wish of GloboSol, that we entertain in the long run with each supported project, namely to become unnecessary. More information on the project...
- January 2011: Solar Association Tiloo, founded in 2006, started a new program at the end of 2009: Seven 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.
- Elena Steger-Kassama
- GloboSol (A partner with Solar Assocation Tiloo)
- January 2009: Solar Association Tiloo - Elena Steger-Kassama
Solar Association Tiloo
18, Mr. P Street
Tel.: +220 7053822 / +220 9712915 (ask for Amadou Kassama or Momodou Briggsman)
Swiss contact: Elena Steger-Kassama
Tel: +41 43-377-94-81