Jewish World Watch > Projects > On the Ground > Looking for the Solar Cooker Project? You’ve come to the right place.
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Looking for the Solar Cooker Project? You’ve come to the right place.

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JWW greatly appreciates your support of our Solar Cooker Project (SCP). We initiated the SCP in 2006 as a way of protecting Darfuri women and girls  ̶  survivors of the Darfur genocide living as refugees in Eastern Chad  ̶  by reducing their dangerous trips outside of the camps in search of firewood for cooking. To date we have served hundreds of thousands of refugees in five camps – helping keep them safe and secure and empowering them as they build new lives Chad.

The situation on the ground has changed: a tragic food crisis has impacted our ability to increase women’s safety through the Solar Cooker Project.

Food Crisis in the Darfuri Refugee Camps

The current conditions in Chad have presented us with new challenges: food insecurity has become the primary and most immediately pressing safety and security risk to the refugees. The World Food Program and United Nations Refugee Agency have cut food rations due to increased demand for WFP and UNHCR assistance around the globe. Refugees in Chad are receiving less than 850 calories per person/per day, and some refugees report receiving closer to 250-500 calories per person/per day.  To learn more about the food crisis click here.

In response to this desperate situation, we must overhaul how we serve these refugees.


Courtesy of Refugees International

Courtesy of Refugees International


Solar Cooker Project Update: New Strategies for New Situations

Any organization working in regions affected by conflict, poor governance, and poverty – such as Eastern Chad where the Darfuris reside – must be nimble, and make changes to projects as dictated by the current situation on the ground. As such, JWW conducted several evaluations of the SCP over the years. We reviewed the evaluations thoughtfully and have continually adjusted the Solar Cooker Project as needed. Previous evaluations all pointed to one overall conclusion: the project was working.

Under these new conditions of severe food insecurity, the basic model of preventing trips outside the camp is no longer feasible. Many men, women and children are choosing to leave the camps in order to do whatever they must to get more food for their families. After careful consideration, we are suspending the work of the Solar Cooker Project, and turning our attention to increasing food rations and supporting programs that allow the Darfuri refugees to become more self-sufficient. Self-sufficiency will protect the Darfuri refugee community from the inconstancy of over-stressed international aid funding.

JWW’s Current Strategy

  • We are focusing our efforts on advocating for increased funding to restore rations to the World Food Program-recommended 2,100 calories per person/per day.
  • We will conduct research to determine the needs of the refugees, what programs will have the best chance of effecting change in the region, and how we can protect and empower the refugee population. This is essential, as there is currently a dearth of information coming out of the refugee camps, and more information is needed to inform next steps.
  • We will then invest in programs that will help the refugees be more self-sufficient, safe, and secure.

The Legacy of the Solar Cooker Project

Until significant political progress is made in Sudan, and it is safe for the Darfuris to return home, their dire situation in Chad must be improved. We at JWW are determined to find initiatives which provide sustainable solutions to support the refugees, and will be able to do so with your continued support. In keeping with the very purpose of the Solar Cooker Project, we will support and lead efforts to keep women and girls safe from sexual violence. The Solar Cooker Project was in essence a human security project, and we will continue to keep that as a central focus in all our work to empower and support the Darfuri people.

What you can do:

Now is the time to take action on behalf of the Darfuri refugees and make a generous gift that will enable JWW to be at forefront of developing the strategies that will help ensure that they survive the current crisis. Thank you in advance for your support.

click here to help darfuri refugees

Learn more about the food crisis and take action through the Restore 2100 Campaign.
For more information about JWW’s other life-changing programs, please read about our projects here.