So far, all you’ve seen of me and my “life journey” have been sentimental tributes to my otherwise mediocre high school experience. However, the big reasons why I started this blog were both for the purpose of having a writing outlet for random bits of thought and feeling, as well as showing my adventures across the globe and the perspectives I accumulate from them. I gain these perspectives on the world, not only from the mere action of traveling, but also from the actions we take on these travels. For when we go to Africa, we are not just going on Safaris and riding elephants, nor do we merely visit the Taj Mahal on our visits to India; throughout my short lifetime I’ve been brought up as an automatic member of my family’s small nonprofit organization called Developing World Solar that distributes solar ovens and water pasteurizers of my father’s invention to people in Africa.
The focus of our organization is the distribution of our solar oven, named the Blazing Tube, to countries in Africa. We have already been able to donate many of these cookers to UN refugee camps in Burkina Faso, and also distribute to individual households that would otherwise be dependent on crude but prevalent biomass for cooking. On both the social and environmental levels, this dependence on biomass for fuel has extremely negative effects; the collection of firewood from far-off places takes away from the livelihood of adults and education of children in impoverished families, indoor pollution is a huge problem in countries with high biomass dependency, and the inefficiency of these fuels cause them to expel greater amounts of greenhouse gasses than normal cooking fuels. As a solution to this problem, many organizations have strived to promote clean fuels, but even these are the very fossil fuels that enable the largest contribution of greenhouse gas emissions by first world countries. Indeed, switching to cleaner fuels would lessen emissions by those in third world countries, but it would still be contributing to the world’s immense overall emissions, and would also lead to these countries being dependent on imported fuels. Considering the great poverty of the majority in these countries, it would be unfair to expect individual families to switch to unfamiliar, imported fuels that must be regularly replenished, especially if they must pay for these fuels.
The Blazing Tube offers a solution to this. Not only is it an environmentally sustainable technology, producing cooking energy solely from the sun; it is also a reusable appliance that does not require replenishment, save for an occasional replacement of vegetable oil. With solar ovens, impoverished families will neither be required to go on long treks to find wood or other biomass fuels, nor constantly buy cooking fuel with their extremely low monetary means. Even if the ovens are sold instead of donated, a single solar oven would quickly pay for itself after its initial purchase by a poor family, as it would no longer require any other costly fuel replenishment, thus saving precious dollars the family can use for food itself, and for seeking a better livelihood. The Blazing Tube would therefore be both a socially and environmentally sustainable means of cooking, and a great tool for the betterment of impoverished lives.
This is the technology that has enabled me to be exposed to the unfathomabe realms of poverty that are the norm in many African countries, and many other parts of the third world. And this exposure and opportunity to help those in need has really inspired me to shoot toward a future of philanthropy myself. Although I’m not certain of my major and my immediate aspirations for my upcoming college years, what I do know is this; I am destined to help those in need, and to write my heart out along the way.