April 15, 2008
Lenten project in support of Diocese of Masasi
This lent, All Saints Anglican Church (Delta, B.C.) council approved a special lenten project in association with this year’s PWRDF theme of “Enough for All; Care of Creation”. PWRDF partner, the Diocese of Masasi in southern Tanzania, was encouraging the use of solar ovens for cooking.
These have many advantages for the good of the environment as well as for the women who do the cooking for their families. This model of oven is really a hot box. The food goes into the box and cooks slowly in the sun, much like a slow cooker/crock pot. Bread cooks in three hours and meat takes four.
Cooking this way means trees are not cut down for charcoal or fuel and continue to give shade, soil erosion is avoided, women and children do not breathe in smoke, less time is spent looking for fuel, and the oven is safe to leave, enabling women to spend more time on other work such as child care or education.
PWRDF helps with the education and mobilization of this project. Each oven costs approximately $25, which is more than most rural families can afford. The diocese hopes in the future to be able to subsidize the cost of the ovens by 50 per cent. Some families are buying one to share. Glen Spurrell, the PWRDF African program officer, explains that the ovens are not given away because “our partners believe in the need to instil a sense of self-sufficiency” within the population.
All Saints set their target high with the hope that, at the end of Lent, they could send $1,000 to PWRDF in support of this Diocese of Masasi project. They raised more than $1,850, nearly twice our target.
It is a win/win project: for the environment; for families in Tanzania and for members of All Saints as we have the opportunity to walk with partners far away.