A Kopernik fellowship provides a unique opportunity for entrepreneurial individuals of the highest caliber and potential to work with our partner NGOs and assist with the implementation and monitoring of projects disseminating appropriate technology. We are currently seeking a fellow for Western Kenya, Nigeria and Oecusse, Timor-Leste to assist the implementation of two projects that address the lighting needs of rural families and schools as well as the burden of water transportation in the community.
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Stay abreast with advancements in the fields of appropriate technology and international development, one article synopsis at a time, with K-lab Weekly.
The Tipping Point Campaign
Sign up to give a small gift each month and we'll put it towards the project closest to completion. By joining our Tipping Point Campaign and donating $25 each month, you can make sure projects are fully funded and out the door quickly--the easiest and most effective way to improve lives through technology.
This month your donation will again support the distribution of Q Drums in Take a Load Off.
Requests for technologies featured in this newsletter
$104 will support a household with one unit of Solvatten in this proposal:
In developing countries, chores that revolve around nourishing your family can be extremely burdensome. Imagine sipping on a glass of drinking water; now imagine having to collect wood to fuel the cookstove with which you boil water before you drink it. This is the daily reality for hundreds of millions of people.
Luckily, there are technologies out there that help alleviate such burdens, and thanks to supporters like you, they're getting to where they are most needed! Check out the latest user feedback of the Solvatten water purifier in Timor-Leste and the Greenway Smart Stoves in India, as reported by our Fellows Olga and Yumiko.
All the families we spoke with celebrated the same benefit of using Solvatten: they no longer have to boil water. When they boiled the water, the smoke from the fire would give the water an unpleasant flavor and leave solid particles in the water. Catalina Soares says that with the Solvatten, she no longer has to worry about her children drinking dirty water; she can just leave the Solvatten (after it's been out in the sun) with the fresh and clean water on the table. She now also has more time to spend with her children, because she doesn’t have to boil water twice per day, which usually takes between one to two hours daily depending on the quality of the firewood she collected that day. Another user, Josefa Fernandes, even claims she cannot live without the Solvatten now that she knows this kind of technology exists. So it came as no surprise that all of the interviewed families rated Solvatten in their post-purchase surveys as: “Very Effective” or 5 stars!
-- Olga Permanyer Martinez
Find out what others and one pastor on Atauro Island are also saying about their new Solvatten on our blog.
Chopping Firewood Consumption Into Bits
New Greenway Smart Stove owners in Shedashi village in India said that compared to their 'chulha' cookstoves, which they used before, the time it takes to cook has halved from two to one hour. The Greenway Smart Stoves also dramatically reduced the amount of firewood each household uses and collects for cooking; daily firewood requirement decreased from 12kg to 5kg in one household, from 6kg to 1.5kg in another and from 7kg to 2kg in yet another household.
General user feedback is also very good. People like the Greenway Smart Stove because it emits less smoke; it decreases fuel consumption and fuel collection time; it's portable; it can cook meals faster; it requires virtually no maintenance; and it's easier to clean. I start to wonder if there is anything that people don't like about the Greenway Smart Stove. Throughout my fellowship, I'll be traveling to other villages to gather more feedback from new stove owners, so stay tuned.
-- Yumiko Yamada
You can read about how the stoves are doing in other parts of India here.
Tech of the Month: Freeplay Encore Radio
Despite the advances in mobile communication, radio in rural areas is still the most affordable, pervasive, and effective medium for rapid dissemination of critical information. But the lack of electricity and scarcity of expensive, disposable batteries in under-developed areas severely undermines radio’s potential. These circumstances present the need for self-sufficient, portable devices like the Freeplay Encore Radio. The Freeplay Encore Radio is a multiband radio, light, and mobile phone charger—a three-in-one device that can be powered through solar charging and a failsafe hand crank. With three versions all producing great sound at very sensitive reception, Encore caters to any humanitarian mass-communication need, not to mention its energy source is guaranteed no matter the conditions.
Kopernik features other similar technologies in the ICT/Mobile categories to improve and facilitate mass communication and education, take a look at our range here.
Behind the Scenes
Lusse Cloutier is a Video Producer who has shared her time, expertise, and creative energy with Kopernik to produce video clips on our solar light projects in Timor-Leste. Since she is always behind the scenes, we wanted to shine the spotlight on her at least once.
In a nutshell: I am a video producer who for the past decade have worked for international organizations like the United Nations and non-governmental organizations as video producer and media trainer in TV and Radio production in Asia and Africa. Prior to that, I worked in the film industry in Canada for about a decade.
How did Kopernik enter your life? About 10 years ago, Ewa and I worked together on a UN project in Timor-Leste that supported the re-establishment of the country's national TV and radio services. We reconnected years later after she founded Kopernik, an organization with an inspiring mission and model that I feel strongly about. After learning more about the work being done through Kopernik, I wanted to make a contribution larger than small donations here and there. As I was planning a trip back to Timor-Leste, I contacted Ewa to see if I could check out Kopernik's projects there, and quite serendipitously, a distribution was planned to take place while I was in town. One thing led to another, and the result is the videos that are now on Kopernik's YouTube channel, which I hope will inspire people to continue to donate and support the fantastic work done by Kopernik team and all its local partners.
What aspect of Kopernik drew you in? What got my attention first is that Kopernik's model cuts the middleman out. I really like that the model is based on equal cooperation. What also stood out were the technologies themselves; not only are they environmentally friendly, but they also have an immediate economic impact on people's lives. The Q Drum really hit home for me because I know from my time spent in Asia and Africa that the task of fetching water is often done by children and women, and this technology has a real impact in alleviating their taxing chores.
Anything else you want to share? I've been involved in many television and film productions, for which a trade-off usually exists between technically challenging work, like for feature films, versus inspiring work, like for documentaries. But what made shooting the Kopernik videos different boils down to two words: impact and inspiration. Kopernik does make a difference and has a direct impact on improving people's lives. This organization is also an inspiration for individuals as well as organizations who aim to be effective and efficient in supporting developing countries through renewable energy. Kopernik gives hope, and that is priceless.
Photos by Lusse Cloutier
Aid-industry thinks outside the box
Bangkok Post, 7 July 2012
A feature on Co-Founder and CEO Toshi Nakamura tells how he goes "the last mile" to help the poor.
NPO Pitches Biz Solution
NHK World, 16 August 2012
Co-Founder and CEO Toshi Nakamura explains Kopernik’s business model and the benefits to technology for those, typically, with access to none. View it here.
Kopernik: Lifting Indonesians out of Poverty
Bali Advertiser, 22 August 2012
Bali Advertiser highlights Kopernik’s work in distributing life-changing technology and features the opening of Kopernik’s technology showroom at its headquarters in Bali. Read it here.