Well Behaved Women Rarely Make History, Volume XIX

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

This is Rachel Andres. She's the director of Jewish World Watch's Solar Cooker Project.

The Solar Cooker Project is a charitable organization that brings simple solar cookers to the Darfur refugees.

This is important because in this culture, it is the responsibility of the woman to gather firewood for cooking. When the women leave the camp to complete this chore, they are frequently raped, regardless of their age. But if the men take up the chore, they are killed. The families are then left with an impossible choice - a traumatized (but living) female family member, or a dead male one.

So to help alleviate the risk, the Solar Cooker Project provides cardboard and tin foil solar cookers that will allow families to cook their daily meals without the use of firewood. The women are given the cookers, and trained on how to use them. They can also earn money by assembling the cookers, or by weaving baskets to hold the cooked food.

So how big a difference have these low tech Solar Cookers made? A huge difference. Once a camp has distributed the cookers, trips outside the camp to gather firewood decrease by 86%. That's a lot of risk abatement.

Ms. Andres was recently honored for her contributions by winning The 2008 Charles Bronfman Prize, a Jewish humanitarian award.

Yep. A Jewish woman, winning a Jewish humanitarian award for helping Muslim women to improve their lives and their safety. I'm down with that.

Congratulations, Ms. Andres, and keep fighting the good fight.


H/T to my Hot Mom.

2 comments:

Random Michelle K said...

BTW, I kept meaning to say all day, that Rachel Andres is amazing, and I wish there were more people in the world like her.

Janiece Murphy said...

Michelle, me, too. Me, too.