Blog of Eva Wissenz

Global Ressource Alliance: Our Partner in Tanzania

Posted Tuesday 8 August 2017 by Eva Wissenz.

After a successful mission in Kenya, working with World Vision Finland and World Vision Kenya, and with sponsorship from Wärtsilä, we have piloted our technology in Tanzania.

As local partner, we have chosen the Global Resource Alliance, a Tanzanian organization also connected to the Californian spirit through the co-founders, Tara Blasco and Lyn Hebenstreit. Lorin and Heikki have worked closely with the great Tanzanian team, mainly Madaraka Nyerere and Elizabeth Bugidu.

GRA’s mission is to facilitate innovative solutions and community development that fosters hope, joy and abundance among the people in the country’s Mara region, and with GoSol.org they are able to compliment their existing activities of organic agriculture, permaculture and reforestation by supporting the rural population in sustainable, income-generating activities with the GoSol.org technology.

We love their holistic approach of solving poverty by empowering people of the Mara region, working at the same time on solar cooking, permaculture to restore soils and provide food, and natural healing of malaria with "neem" (a very powerful tree from India).

We’ll soon release inspirational videos of new communities using different applications of the Sol5. Meanwhile, discover the achievement of GRA-Tanzania below.


1 Year After: Expanding Solar Bakery in Kenya

Posted Thursday 29 June 2017 by Eva Wissenz.

Thanks to Wärtsilä, our founding sponsor, we were back to Kenya, collecting a lot of data after 1 year of almost daily use of the SOL5 Oven by bakers in cooperation with World Vision. But most of all, we were able to provide an additional SOL5 solar oven to these motivated solar bakers.

Watch David and Lorin explain!


Presenting Results and a New Application in Kisumu

Posted Saturday 15 April 2017 by Eva Wissenz, Lorin Symington.

Last Friday, on April 7th, at the World Vision Lake Region compound in Kisumu we presented 3 SOL5’s to around 65 representatives from a wide variety of NGOs and the Kisumu County government. It was the occasion for our team to present the spirit of our work, its impact since a year and the synergy with our sponsor and partners.

A wide variety of people from different sectors attended the presentation.

Attendees were primarily involved in agriculture, enterprise development, environmental stewardship and poverty alleviation, all very interested in hearing the results of our first pilots installed about a year ago in the area, and curious about the new food dehydrator we’re presenting.

Attendees inspecting the SOL5's and their different applications.

Chief Officer Lorna Omuodo (below) from the Kisumu County Green Energy and Climate Change Authority expressed her vision of making Kisumu the premiere sustainability county in Kenya.

Chief Officer Lorna Omuodo: "Let's make Kisumu the premiere sustainability county of Kenya"

The day was beautiful, though the morning was too cloudy to bake all the goodies Lorin and Heikki (below) had planned, there was enough sun to show the focal point and for people to witness the power of our solar concentrators.

Lorin Symington and Heikki Lindfors of GoSol.org in front of the SOL5 solar concentrators.

We were happy to welcome Mr. George Oywer, from Wärtsilä, who presented his company and their sponsorship of GoSol. Also presenting were Maija Seppala, Chris Asego and Joseph Tinkoi, representing World Vision Finland’s WEconomy Start Program and World Vision Kenya’s livelihoods and resilience program.

To top it off we welcomed back David Chepkwony (below), our first solar (and happy) baker who you met last year. He shared his daily experiences and use of SOL5 oven, making a strong appeal to the county government to GoSol.

Solar Baker David Chepkwony presenting on his experience with GoSol.
David Chepkwony spreading his enthusiasm for solar baking.

Wärtsilä sponsors GoSol in Kenya and soon in Tanzania

Posted Wednesday 29 March 2017 by Eva Wissenz.

All the GoSol.org team is happy to announce that Wärtsilä is now sponsoring our work to empower entrepreneurs in Kenya and in Tanzania.

Check out Wärtsilä’s announcement.


First demo of solar oven for refugees

Posted Wednesday 22 March 2017 by Eva Wissenz.

Lorin Symington updates on experience in and around Kakuma refugee camp in Turkana region of Kenya. The Oven is complete and a local Turkana women helps test with the first cake baked with the Sol5 in Turkana!


Autodesk Foundation supports GoSol / Solar Fire

Posted Wednesday 3 August 2016 by Eva Wissenz.

Our team is very happy to announce that the Autodesk Foundation (USA) has committed to support our work with a USD 100,000 grant and a very exciting support program.

And here is what Autodesk’s team is saying about our work: "We’re impressed with Solar Fire’s design-driven approach to bringing commercial-scale solar thermal to Kenyan small businesses. A simple but powerful design + technical rigor + end user feedback = true impact."

The discussion with Autodesk team started months ago and in April they were able to go Kenya, meet with Lorin and World Vision team. They could check directly our work and after a few more phone meetings and intense questions/answers process they said "yes". It’s very important for us because our project is ambitious, as ambitious as the problem we want to solve, and Autodesk Foundation can connect us with important players, help us improve so many aspects of our work and we are going to learn a lot!

But first of all the support of Autodesk team enables us staying focused on impact and accelerating on the ground, starting in Kenya. We want to thank all our business partners, our first sponsors, all the members of the GoSol community, and all our families and friends who supported us and believed in our vision to spread solar energy among all.



Achievement in Kenya: World Vision’s Video

Posted Tuesday 28 June 2016 by Eva Wissenz.

In this beautiful video you are invited to understand fully what we have achieved in Kenya with the cooperation of Weconomy and World Vision Kenya.

One month after the end of this first phase, the communities have adopted the tech even faster than we thought and the women would be very happy to train others on how to build their solar concentrators. Enjoy!


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