"Hello, My name is Rishi Sharma from New Jersey, USA. I am 17 years old, and I go to Monroe Township High School. I learned, in my environmental science class, about solar cookers.”
This introduction has started a wonderful new friendship and partnership for Village Help for South Sudan. Rishi is an exceptional young man, and we are grateful for his commitment to help us address one of the most urgent needs among villagers: fuel scarcity and other issues related to cooking the family meal.
His research led Rishi to Jewish World Watch, an NGO at the forefront of solar cooking among Darfuri refugees.
JWW introduced Rishi to Solar Cookers International (SCI), a leading provider of solar cookers and support for effective deployment and use of the cookers.
SCI has developed a solar cooker called the CooKit which is not only field-tested but can also be manufactured in remote areas - using plans available on the SCI website. SCI also sells the ready-made, low-cost CooKit from their online store along with other models.
Besides cooking food, a solar cooker has other important, life-saving uses, such as water pasteurization and autoclave sterilization. Solar and other cooking fuel alternatives are vital in developing countries like South Sudan, where wood used for cooking is gathered primarily by women and girls. This time-consuming and labor-intensive daily task keeps girls out of school and causes deforestation around villages. The wood-gatherers are forced to go farther and farther away from their homes to get their cooking fuel or spend what little money they have to buy charcoal in the marketplace.
With the compassionate and timely leadership shown by young Mr. Sharma, we hope to conduct a pilot project to field test solar cooking in South Sudan. We hope others in Rishi’s school will support his noble efforts, and we call upon all friends of Village Help for South Sudan to join his team and make a donation to help us support the solar cooking project he has inspired.
“Right now, in high school, it's hard to expand this mission further than reaching a few willing donors,” Rishi says. Let’s help this rising star with equal passion and commitment.