Human Crisis in Afghanistan

Knightsbridge International donated half of the funds for one of the ovens and has provided the following photographs. Sir Edward Artis and Walt Ratterman, of Knightsbridge International, are currently in Afghanistan on a humanitarian mission which includes delivering and installing two VILLAGER SUN OVENS®. One of the ovens will go to Aibak, a remote spot in the foothills northwest of Kabul, accompanied by a large shipment of relief supplies. It will be used to bake bread on an ongoing basis for an orphanage, a hospital and school. The other oven will go through to Kabul, and will be deployed by Mercy Corps and the World Food Programme to a village on the outskirts of the city, where the women will bake bread daily for several hundred children in the school. This system was donated by Rotary International and is being set up with the assistance of the Greenstar Foundation. If you are interested in following the path of this mission a web site has been set up which is updated twice each week.



Ed Artis and Walt Ratterman of Knightsbridge International complete the unloading and setup of a VILLAGER SUN OVEN®, donated by Rotary International, in Kabul, Afghanistan.



A SUN OVEN® has now been set up at a girls’ school for 2900 students in Aibak, and another at a school on the outskirts of Kabul.



Pictured are two members of the German military, Ed Artis, Anita from Mercy Corps and Walt Witman. The German Army assisted in unloading one of the ovens when a forklift was required and transported it to Mercy Corps.



Afghan women at the school in Kabul make the first batch of tradition “pillau” bread, to feed their children at class.


The headmaster of the Kabul school looks on as the first bread is baked.

The SUN OVEN®, using only the refracted concentrated light of the sun, reaches internal temperatures of 175 degrees Celsius (350 degrees Fahrenheit); more than enough to bake the flat, unleavened “nan” bread which is a staple of the Afghan diet.

Updated October 29, 2001
As military operations against targets in Afghanistan intensify, and with winter approaching rapidly, large numbers of Afghans are seeking refuge in neighboring countries, joining the 3.7 million refugees that have left Afghanistan in recent years. The UN estimates as many as 1 million refugees may pour into Pakistan, and another 500,000 into Iran, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. About 2 million people are already on the move inside the country in search of food and assistance, and the 3.8 million that currently rely on UN food aid for their survival are projected to reach over 5 million by November. Civil war, and the worst drought the country has faced in 30 years, have put up to 7.5 million people at risk, out of the total population of 26 million. According to UNICEF, nearly 20 percent of those in need are children under the age of five. The situation has worsened dramatically since the terrorist attacks of September 11th and the ensuing international military action. Many relief agencies have been forced to withdraw from Afghanistan; the programs that remain have been severely constrained. Deteriorating security and mounting uncertainty for relief operations heighten the urgency of what the UN has called a humanitarian crisis of “stunning proportions”.

Rotary Clubs and School Children Respond

Rotary Clubs, Districts and individual Rotarians from throughout North America have come together to assist in combating the growing humanitarian crisis at the borders of Afghanistan. VILLAGER SUN OVENS are being sent to help in the feeding of refugees. Using the sun to cook food will allow the space on planes and trucks that was used to transport cooking fuel to be used to send more food and thereby enable the feeding of more people.

These ovens are extremely well insulated to hold heat in and keep cold out. Even though the winters are very cold in this area of the world, there is still an abundance of sunshine, which is conducive to solar cooking. The ovens will be used in northern Afghanistan at the IDP camp at Dasht-i-Qala. This area is not under the control of the Taliban. As of October 25th there were 61,000 families living in this camp and cooking fuel is very scarce. This is the first war that has ever been fought with food being equal to bombs in their power to overthrow the enemy. Each oven can cook over 1,200 meals per day powered by the sun.

THE TEMPLE SOLAR PROJECT is the district level of Rotary District 6450 (the birthplace of Rotary Chicago) spearheading this project. As funds are collected ovens are being shipped to relief organizations that are involved in the feeding of refugees. To make a donation or receive additional information please contact:

Make checks payable to:

Temple Solar Project

Mail checks to:

Larry Stichway, PDG
Rotary District 6450
13525 Red Coat Drive
Lemont, IL 60439

For additional information contact:

Fundraising Coordinators



Miami Country Day School Students Respond

With the growing humanitarian crisis at the borders of Afghanistan, students from the Abess Center for Environmental Studies (A.C.E.S.) at the Miami Country Day School are using the proceeds from their annual plant sale to help send large VILLAGER SUN OVENS®to help in the feeding of refugees. The funds that the students raise will be matched by the Miami Shores Rotary Club and be used by the Temple Solar Project to provide VILLAGER SUN OVENS® to feed Refugees in and near Afghanistan.

A.C.E.S. has been working with solar cooking projects for years. Students are invited to experiment with alternative energy uses by making, testing and using solar cookers. Recipes, construction tips, experiments and research findings are shared. A.C.E.S. has invited the members of iEARN (the International Education and Resource Network is a non-profit organization made up of almost 4,000 K-12 schools in over 90 countries) to join them in helping to send VILLAGER SUN OVENS®.

For additional information please contact:

Rowena Gerber

Miami Country Day School

P.O. Box 380608

Miami, FL 33238-0608



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