Kenya Posts

Best Validation Ever in Kenya

Posted Tuesday 12 November 2019 by Eva Wissenz, Jared Omondi.

For a company, especially an impact company like ours, the best validation comes from the field. Last week, our representative in Kenya, Mr Jared Omondi, sent us the short clip below. It shows one of the pilot solar concentrators we installed in 2017 in the Kisumu area, in Kenya. And... it’s still in use!!

First the unit was given to the Tinderet bakery but when their team decided to reduce the baking activity because the chief baker got a better job elsewhere, they decided to transfer the solar concentrator to Friends of Ndere, a very active baking community which had already one of our solar concentrators. In spite of this being one of our pilot units, they are still using this unit to bake since then.

In this short clip (in swahili - sorry, too much happening we don’t have time to translate), Joyce the baker is explaining to Jared that what people like most are their buns and breads. People around really LOVE their breads because they are well baked with a nice light brown colour and the buns remain fresh for 4-5 days.

When so many projects are failing because of maintenance issues, we are succeeding because the users can maintain the Lytefire ovens easily, they can replace if a mirror breaks, and they are continuously making money with their production as well as using the oven for themselves. Joyce and the Friends of Ndere are using the Lytefire 4 days a week and even with a bit of faded mirrors that were not replaced since 2017, the baking oven reaches 220°C.

These amazing communities were introduced to us by our partner World Vision Kenya and the piloting phase happened thanks to Wärtsilä’s sponsorship, Autodesk Foundation’s support and Finnpartnership’s support.


The Inspiring Image of the Day !

Posted samedi 26 janvier 2019 by Eva Wissenz.

We are happy to share this image sent by World Vision Kenya. These are solar baked buns produced and sold by our friends at Yier Ngima in Siaya, Kenya.

This group started with a SOL5 roaster to roast peanuts to make peanut butter. They don’t grow enough peanuts to be roasting full-time, and had seen solar baking at Koptige, so Lorin and Jared created a simple baking rack for their roaster and these solar buns are the result of this change !

Their SOL5 was part of our pilot program in Kenya with World Vision and with sponsorship of Wärtsilä.

Consolata and the other ladies peeling peanuts in the shade while their bread bakes :

By diversifying their business, the Yier Ngima group is increasing uptime on their SOL5 and the members are earning more money, with their business based on sweet, clean solar energy.


Farmers Days in Kenya

Posted Monday 25 June 2018 by Eva Wissenz.

On June 19th, World Vision Kenya presented the SOL5 oven at Misire Afmaga group in presence of 350 people, including many students.

This event was part of the Farmers field days, in Nyamusi. And the theme was: Promoting Innovation and Technology in Agriculture and Trade. Several technologies useful to mitigate climate change were presented to the public.

Misire is one of the most active groups of entrepreneurs. They are using their SOL5 oven daily.

Everybody was super happy and excited about the machine and could check how tasty the solar bread is.

This project has started last year with support of Wärtsilä and Autodesk Foundation.


Greening the Blue in Kenya

Posted Friday 8 June 2018 by Eva Wissenz.

World Environment Day was celebrated on June 5th in Kisumu thanks to our cooperation with World Vision. About 500 persons attended the event.

A SOL5 oven was brought from Koptige bakery to the event and all the entrepreneurs groups participated all day, sharing their experience and answering questions.

Tasty peanut butter produced by Yier Ngima with SOL5 roaster was displayed. It’s important to remind that using solar heat removes the smoky charcoal taste and reduce to 0 breathing black particles.


In Kenya, rural solar entrepreneurs share on SOL5

Posted Tuesday 29 May 2018 by Lorin Symington.

We’re pleased to bring you the latest footage from our end user entrepreneurs in Western Kenya. Our partners at World Vision Kenya asked the bakers from Afmago Misire Bakery and the Koptige Women’s Group to share their thoughts on their experiences baking with sunlight over the past year.

Misire is using the SOL5 to bake since 2017 thanks to sponsorship from Wärtsilä and Koptige since two years now. For Koptige, it’s always the chief baker speaking. Indeed, David Chepkowny is a very convinced solar entrepreneur, fluent in English and the additional SOL5 his group got since last year will give a good boost.

I’m so thrilled to see our vision for a solar economy becoming a reality. Look how the corn grows right up to the SOL5, using maximum sunlight!

The groups are reporting significant positive impact as well as increased esteem in their communities. They’re very proud to have been featured in one of the national newspapers:

The groups are reporting significant positive impact as well as increased esteem in their communities. They’re very proud to have been featured in one of the national newspapers:

Article: https://www.businessdailyafrica.com/corporate/enterprise/Kisii-group-bakes-livelihood-making-banana-bread/4003126-4561350-67of87/index.html

Thanks to Autodesk Foundation, we’re busy planning new innovations and features that our solar bakers have recommended.

We’re really grateful for everyone in Kenya and everything they do to document and share how reliable, safe and affordable it is to go solar with SOL5.


Autodesk Foundation renewing support for 2018

Posted Thursday 26 April 2018 by Eva Wissenz.

Last February, Autodesk Foundation team visited 2 groups of entrepreneurs in Kenya and they were fully convinced by the impact of the SOL5. On the top picture, our followers can identify Mr David Chepkwony, first solar baker in Kenya, always so enthusiastic and happy with his SOL5 at Koptige!

Jean Shia and Ryan Macpherson of Autodesk Foundation visiting the pilot projects (4th and 3rd from the left).

Our team is so happy to announce that the Autodesk Foundation (USA) is renewing us a grant this year to support our work for a very exciting support program.

Thanks to Autodesk Foundation, we were invited last year at Pier9 in San Francisco to learn CNC and prototype and they actively supported our educational actions in Kenya with our partner World Vision Kenya and World Vision Finland.

All the team is very motivated to continue the good job and expand the solar fire as much as possible!

Autodesk is inviting us at the Near Future Summit in California in May, so stay tuned!!


Update from Kenya projects: Training Entrepreneurs

Posted Friday 23 February 2018 by Lorin Symington.

Last week, members from all the GoSol projects participated in a capacity building training session on Village Savings and Loans Methodology organised by World Vision.

The training session covered such topics as microfinance products, various financial calculations formula, savings habits, best habits for transparency and accountability and a number of other tools for entrepreneurs.

From our experiences working with small businesses in the developing world, the more business skills our entrepreneurs have the more they recognize the value of our SOL5. For example, Koptige bakery last year reported electricity savings over 600€. Among all our pilots, Koptige remains the most dynamic ; click here to see the video we made after 1 year of baking with the SOL5..

When entrepreneurs are keeping good records and calculating their various expenditures it makes the energy savings from using solar energy that much clearer!


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