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Be counted 
Robert V. Lange 
Robert V. Lange
This year I've shared  news about the expansion of our Project actions to include work with livestock,  clean water, and the Cypress Hill facility. 

As you know, stoves and solar remain the foundation and the center of our work.  Read below how a group of school children in Massachusetts connected with the Project's efforts.

Find out about the new Model Four stove, and how we came to this stage of the evolution of our stove design. 

Are you a numbers person? Read below for a count, and how we're making it count. 
I'm proud to present our  latest work with micro-grids, made possible by the ongoing involvement of pioneering women and men--including you!  
Robert V. Lange, Founder
Maasai Stoves & Solar Project 
May, 2018

From Monduli to Massachusetts
It is a great joy to tell you about the students at the Vassal Lane Upper School  in Cambridge, Massachusetts where Ethan Kellogg is an eighth grader. 

Together with his mother, Stephanie Reiss, Ethan had spent a week at the Project in Monduli, Tanzania, participating in all activities. Ethan and Stephanie were impressed with the women and the way they made their homes so much more livable, through the Project.

Ethan Kellogg with Maasai Stoves & Solar display at Art Night

It is unusual for young students to take such an interest and participate so concretely, but Ethan successfully organized an enthusiastic group of students at the school.

When the students decided to build an exhibit about the Project for their Annual Art Night, I provided a firebox from the Tanzanian factory. Instead of the heavy bricks for the chimney, they substituted brick-sized cardboard boxes to illustrate the full installation. Together with the basic parts of a small solar electric system, the students put together a lovely display for the event.

I was delighted to present to their school assembly. I  enjoyed the students' questions, especially since I could answer from the point of view of on-the-ground work in the field. I was able to share real outcomes, and stories of how rural Africans are improving their lives.

It is clear that American kids can benefit from exposure to this kind of direct, tangible experience. It made me happy to tell our stories to such a wonderful group. Congratulations to Ethan, Stephanie, the members of the Maasai Stoves & Solar Club, and the entire Vassal Lane Upper School. 

And they tell us they want to do it again next year. Bravo!

Stoves and solar at the core

Stoves and solar are key for life improvement
for the Maasai
Two members of the installation team
women and their children.

We are happy to  bring the new Model Four stove  into the homes of the people. It is durable, safe to touch from all sides, and fuel efficient. The smoke-eliminating chimney is central. Read more about the new model below. 

Solar-panel-powered micro-grids are important for a better life  in  remote areas of the Maasai villages. Having electric light after sundown makes all the difference!

This month, three new bomas joined the growing number of improved family settlements.  The boma owners, usually two or three men, agreed to have the stoves installed in all the women's homes and paid the installation costs for the women's teams that do that work. 

Light for people far off the national grid
Karaine boma with newly installed micro-grid

This means money is flowing from the men, and the livestock economy, to the women. The men go on to pay one third of the cost of the micro-grid. The ICSEE(T) puts up the rest of the money. The cost for electrification for a small boma with ten homes is $1,000.

Learning solar electrification
All men want these services and know that they have come to neighboring bomas. When they put the health and home improvement for their families at the top of their priorities, they make it happen.

Mr.  Lendin Kidaa of Losirwa village put stoves in seven homes and a solar electric grid of 150 watts to serve these homes and to light his corrals, keeping the hyenas away at night.  Mr. Karaine Lendiwa, pictured above,  did the same in the village of Mongere with a 200-watt system for his settlement's nine homes and three corrals. And Mr. Lahaki Nginwaa of Baraka did the same.

Each of these installations took our team just one day with the villagers joining in for digging the trenches, helping to mount the fixtures and switches. This hands-on work demystifies this technology in ways that theory alone cannot approach. 

hands-on science for child observing three-stone fire vs. stove from ICSEE
The Project provides opportunities for science learning for all ages

These activities  protect and improve life while also providing a huge educational impact. Men and women solar installation team members learn the science, engineering, monitoring and maintenance of renewable energy. This training prepares them as the experts, delivering this technology to the people.

By the numbers
Stove demonstration for student group
Through January, 2018 the Project had  3,858 stoves in Tanzania.
We've since installed 87 more stoves in Monduli and Longido. We've shipped 100 to Sanya station. That total is 4,045 stoves. 
There are 52 stoves now in Rwanda. Uganda has 302 and Kenya 102. 
As of today, the grand total is 4,501 stoves.
Read here to see how these numbers have grown since our first stove installation in 2010.  
46 bomas now have the solar micro-grids.  
It feels good to take a moment and appreciate the improved health and well-being for people in rural Africa through this Project. Read about the impact. This is the result of the good will of friends and supporters like you. Thank you!

A design state of mind
We are well into production of Model Four-our newest stove model. Wonderfully durable and easy to install and use, the latest iteration is a result of keeping ourselves in an ongoing design state of mind.  
Model Four

And because we manufacture our own fireboxes  
experimenting with design and making product improvements flows naturally.
Model Three had been a huge step forward.  In Model Two, the path for hot gases and smoke from under the cooking surface to the chimney was defined by bricks inside the firebox. These could come loose in the hot environment if not perfectly installed.

But in Model Three, the path is completely defined by steel. Bricks are alongside the firebox for insulation and are not vulnerable to the heat that can undermine durability.

The last 2500 stoves we installed were Model Three. This model includes a space where water could be heated without a pot.

Fireboxes ready for assembly
But it turned out that this was not a feature that the women were using, so Model Four does not include it. Instead, we've replaced it with bricks in the front, enhancing safety.  
  In Ketubeine, a new Project village, the women overwhelmingly supported this change when given the choice between Models Three and Four.  Not only do they appreciate the cooler stove front, they also like how they can cover all sides with decorative and protective mud. This fits in more beautifully with their home d├ęcor.     

Thank you to Philip Lange and Erica Wilson for photography