Operation Blessing president, Bill Horan demonstrates the power of a solar oven with a piece of paper.
Village families were supplied with solar ovens thanks to OBI.
- High in the hills of Gansu Province, China, a shiny new oven is using the power of the sun to revolutionize the way cooking is done.
Small mosaic-like pieces of mirror line the inside of a concave, concrete palate to create a cooking surface like no other – a solar oven. A metal rod extends from the center of the dish to form a circular ring where villagers place their food.
"With a solar oven in the yard, villagers do not need to spend time collecting sticks or wood in order to boil water or cook potatoes," said Dr. Ma Yan, OBI's Gansu director. "Farmers still have to buy coal for heat and cooking, but a solar oven reduces the quantity of burning sticks, grass and wood that are very precious in the drought-stricken mountain areas."
In the remote mountain village of Duipo, there are approximately 200 families and so far, about 40 have been equipped with a solar oven thanks to OBI. More ovens are on the way.
The unique design of the solar oven is such that it can be tilted in various directions to catch sunlight and transform that power into instantaneous, concentrated heat. Crops grown locally, such as potatoes and wheat, are cooked in pots that sit a few feet above the oven's mirrored surface.
"Because the sun shines almost every day in Gansu, these ovens are not only practical and suit the needs of the people, but there is no cost to operate them," said Bill Horan, president of OBI.
Solar ovens also help conserve valuable resources for villagers.
"Firewood is as precious as water," Horan added. "There are virtually no trees and so little rain that the only bath most people take in their whole life is on their wedding day."
OBI can purchase and transport these ovens to remote villages in Gansu for about $50 each.
OBI China "adopted" the Duipo village about four years ago, and since then, has built 184 cisterns – one for each family – to help collect rain water for future use. In addition to rebuilding a school and supplying it with books and hiring teachers, OBI also holds ongoing medical clinics for villagers.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
This microenterprise venture is one of many Operation Blessing projects touching lives around the world. You can be a part of improving the quality of life for impoverished communities by supporting these and other life-changing programs.
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