Lytefire Posts

From feeding a group of 20 people to cooking for 100 people!

Posted Friday 24 March 2023 by Joan Arwa Ogwang, Samuel Rodrigues.

From Kisumu workshop to the well prepared grounds of Don Bosco Institute in Kakuma, Kenya, a solar oven and 3 cookers were well received, assembled and they boast fully lined up together with the previously installed oven ready to continue serving the local Don Bosco Institute.

To continue the wonderful work already started, we created a team of three being Joan Arwa, Hillary Miheso and Samuel Rodrigues to manage another successful training.

Sam and Hillary filling up the solar cooker radiator with water.

In Don Bosco Institute Kakuma, we trained a group of students from different fields (mechanical, carpentry, fitting and turning, accounting, masonry, electrical etc) who were driven to learn more and gain additional knowledge on how to assemble a whole solar fire machine and cooker in readiness to learn how to bake bread, buns, cookies, cakes and we also cooked different meals like beans, lentils, potatoes, and rice using the Lytefire’s solar cookers.

Trainees from Don Bosco Institute kakuma assembling the Lytefires.

Our first bakery sales were overwhelming and students and teachers were amazed by how delicious the solar buns,bread and cakes were.

Solar baked bread..

After 2 weeks of training we were ready to scale up our cooking to be able to serve not just 20 people but over 100 people! The word overjoyed is an understatement of how we, trainers, and the school administration felt about the scale up. There was confidence, anxiety, happiness, energy and anticipation.

In different days in the third week, with the help of Martha the school cook, we kept on scaling up the amount we could cook using the solar cookers and everyone loved the meals we served. With that, we managed to feed an overwhelming number of students and staff, being 70, 120 and 260 respectively. Each service was truly humbling to us since we managed to prepare upto 39 kg of rice and 10.4 kg of lentils.

Martha the school cook preparing lunch for the students and staff of Don Bosco Institute Kakuma.

By the last days of the 3rd week, the bakery received daily orders of buns not less than 100 pieces and occasional big cake orders of up to 100 pieces or 300 buns. With the guidance of demand of the solar bakery products we are confident we can sell upto a minimum of 500 buns, 106 cupcakes daily by using just one oven.

We are all looking forward to our next training!

First trainings completed for Rape Hurts Foundation

Posted Wednesday 22 February 2023 by Allen Wilson Odongo.

The bottom line of the training is that these girls would be able to open up their own businesses managed by themselves. By doing so, by becoming active sustainable entrepreneurs, the hope is that their problems of dependency and idleness would end.
There are people who have been able to see what Lytefire can do and to them it was at first all magic!

With a mission to reduce pain, suffering and poverty among the underprivileged and marginalized especially the women and children in Uganda, Rape Hurts Foundation (RHF) is a Non Profit at the forefront of the fight for women rights in Uganda. Before Lytefire was installed, RHF was using gas, hydro electricity and as usual, wood and charcoal for cooking and ironing. The Lytefire is now being used to bake bread, queen cakes, party cakes, banana muffins, buns and roasted salted ground nuts for sale.

Here at the Jinja RHF office, there are two Lytefire solar ovens, one dehydrator and one boiler. Currently, all the two ovens are being operated by six workers (three on each machine). 30 trainees have undergone this training since November 2022. Four of these workers, two ladies and two gentlemen are RHF employees attached to this project by their organization.

Delicious solar roasted peanuts create a significant source of revenues.

The most successful recipe in terms of sales volume is roasted salted groundnuts (above). Solar roasting works really well in all countries and seems to be a great business model (check here the other Solarpreneurs using Lytefire solar). In Uganda, the trainees have been roasting 5 kg of peanuts per round, which make them 11 packets of nuts at 5000UGX (1,30€). With growing demand e.g from school canteens, more retail outlets, pubs and more super markets, we can imagine that these young ladies can go up to 2 rounds a day with an average sale of 78 000 UGX (20€) per week, 2 days a week. This would get them 160€/month. The average salary in Uganda is 35€.

The other products have also picked up that explains why they are being produced on a daily basis. We were able to produce delicious dried jackfruits (see picture below) and pineapples. The dried fruits tasted sweeter, crunchy and like honey. Excellent results.

They say that solar dried jackfruit is like honey.

Baking days are everyday even on Sundays after prayers. This shows commitment by the workers and means that they are producing more and enlarging their market as well.They are making rounds of Banana muffins (72 pieces), Queen cakes (96 pieces),Buns (180 pieces), Peanut butter cookies (108 pieces), one round of Bread (9 pieces of 400g).

Impressive solar baked goods!

Bakery products that require BFT (Bulk Fermentation Time) like bread and buns must be produced first very early in the morning. This can be from six in the morning. This arrangement allows time for fermentation and proper gluten development. This is then followed by the rest of the items such as queen cakes, banana muffins, peanut butter cookies, and party cakes which require Low Temperature but Long Time (LTLT).

The Demonstration day was the last Friday of January 2023 which fell on 27th. It was a very colourful day attended by the participants of the first and second Jinja training. The total number of people were 80 including the 30 trainees who were handed over Certificates of attendance by the Chief Guest. Augustine and I were also honoured by giving us Certificates of appreciation showing that as trainers, we did a great job for them.

Demo day is always a good way to reward participants and celebrate the good work.

The highlights of the day were the speeches by the Chief Guest and lady councilor representing the local people at the Jinja City Hall. Then came the tear dropping speech from the MD of RHF herself, Hellen Lukunse. There were other occasions of course like cutting the cake, launching of RHF Sanyu Bakery, eating and dancing to traditional music.

Long live Lytefire solar oven.
Allen Wilson Odongo/ SFCO Trainer in Baking Technology.

Love for life celebration

Posted Tuesday 14 February 2023 by Eva Wissenz.

Dear Friends,

Today is the day to tell you how much we love life, forest, empowered humans and balanced eco-systems. Love is the root, always. We wish you lots of love and loving choices to make this world a better place.

Picture: Valentine’s cake - solar baked by Nebbi’s Smart Up bakery in Uganda and Prudence Ladegi, solar baker :)

First steps towards the installation of a solar bakery in Sudan

Posted Thursday 12 January 2023 by Samuel Rodrigues.

At the end of 2022 we implemented our first project in Sudan.

Plan International Sudan, an NGO mostly dedicated to education and youth employment, commissioned the installation of a Lytefire 5 unit for a bakery to be installed at Al Alagaya refugee camp in Sudan home of about 28 000 refugee’s.

Sudan has a dense and rich history that spans back millennia. It has been the friction point, as well as the source, of multiple civilizations and cultures. It has been a really enriching experience to get to work in this country.

Unfortunately, in its more recent history, Sudan has been the stage of a lot of political and economic instability. Years of colonization followed by a terrible civil war created fractures and dysfunctions in Sudan’s democratic institutions creating turmoils on all levels of social life that are still very much present today.
As such Khartoum, the country’s capital, is a complex environment to start the manufacturing of a Lytefire.

This is why “KELVIN Sustainable Engineering Solutions” became such an important partner. Kelvin was responsible for all stages of the production of this first unit, working in close proximity with Solar Fire. And the result was a success! A fully functional and high quality machine was manufactured!

The next phase of the mission was to transport the machine along margins of the mythical White Nile to reach Al Alagaya Refugee camp in the south of Sudan.
The Al Alagaya refugee camp was set up in 2014 to host South Sudanese refugees fleeing conflict areas. The refugee community amounts today to more than 28 000 people with a large percentage of women and children. As in most refugee camps, the community faces a myriad of challenges, one of them being energy access. The electrical grid is mostly in-existent, gas is expensive and with recurrent supply shortages and locally harvested fire wood (most common fuel at the moment) is scarce, expensive and source of conflict with the hosting community (indigenous to the area).

Taking these energy challenges into account, Plan International Sudan launched a project, financed by Islamic Development Bank and organized around solar energy. It consists of the installation of a small solar (photovoltaic) grid to power economic activities and a working solar bakery based on a Lytefire 5 unit, the latter being the object of our mission.

We worked with a group of trainees responsible for the kick-start of this Solar bakery. This varied group composed of a 5 people Solar Oven Management Committee - that will run the bakery (blue building on the pic) in the long term - and 7 other people belonging to local NGOs and CSO that can provide support - was so motivated and interested by our technology that we managed to install the Lytefire and get it working really quickly.

After the installation of the concentrator and oven and the training on the technical aspects was dispensed, we passed the torch to Umnia Alfateh Almnosor, a baker from a nearby town with 15 years of experience. She trained the group to produce a variety of baked products, most notably a great range of traditional sweets that are not only very tasty but also incredible to look at.

There are still some improvements to the compound and more training sessions to be dispensed but the Solar Bakery at Alagaya is now well on its way!

Last gift this year

Posted Friday 23 December 2022 by Eva Wissenz.

Dear solar friends,

We are ending the year with a dream that became true (for us).

A few days ago we have launched the Lytefire Hub where all Lytefire’s users can gather, find resources, dedicated forums, tips and share positive energy.

DIY’ers building the Lytefire 4, Solarpreneurs using the artisan oven in Africa, Solarpreneurs using the Lytefire Deluxe made in France... all of them are contributing to a decentralized and democratic us of solar energy.

Let’s see how these seeds grow next year.

Merry Christmas to all from the Lytefire Team.

Guide Lytefire 4 enfin disponible en français

Posted Monday 12 December 2022 by Eva Wissenz.

Nous sommes très heureux de vous annoncer que le guide de construction de la Lytefire 4 est à présent disponible en français. Il a été revu et mis à jour.

Et très bientôt (dans 15 jours en fait), on ouvre (enfin) le forum qui va permettre à tous les bricoleurs.euses de se construire le leur.

Voici le lien vers le guide :

Un grand merci à la Fondation Siemenpuu qui a permis cette traduction.

First solar bakery running at Rape Hurts Foundation

Posted Friday 9 December 2022 by Eva Wissenz.

After a successful first training for a very nice group at Rape Hurts Foundation, the participants have been able to start their solar baking production with great success.

All together, Augustine Olowo, Allen Odongo and Sam Rodrigues have organized a great training.

Hellen Lunkuse W. Tanyinga, founder of RHF, says they are selling like crazy. Four people are involved in continuing the bakery and for now they are baking 200 buns each day, and selling easily to nearby shops and people who know them.

One can read on the wall of Rape Hurts Foundation: "A world in which human and children realize their full Human Rights, Health, Social-Economic and Civic potential." That is what we are willing to achieve as well, one solar oven at the time (and more and more actually!).

This project starts really well and the team can’t wait to continue after the holidays with more training’s.

This is made possible because of the close cooperation of RHF and ’s SELF, Solar Electric Light Fund, a US based NGO financing this project.

And a big thank you to Joan for organizing the shipping brilliantly, and to Jared, Josef and the workers in Kenya for building all this!

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