| Solar and energy conserving food technologies: a training manual |
Solar and Energy Conserving Food Technologies
There are two threads running through this training program: the technical theme of using the sun and other energy efficient technologies in the area of preserving, preparing and storing foods; and the application of the technical information as part of the community work that you are currently doing.
The main focus of the training program is to help Peace Corps volunteers and their counterparts be able to design, build, use and maintain improved food preservation and storage devices and fireless cookers. However, as important as the technical aspect of the devices is the "how" and the "why" of their application. A technology is useful and appropriate only when it is used as a tool to improve a community's health and self-reliance. It must build upon what people already know and help them address and solve their own problems.
It has been shown repeatedly that technologies that do not take people and culture into account are not particularly helpful, and are often doomed to fail. The world landscape is littered with such "innovations". Cut, when technologies are based on the use of local resources, both human and material, in order to meet community-defined needs, there is a good chance that they will succeed and flourish.
The training program is designed so that you will be able to apply what -and how - you learn during the course once you return to your community. We ask that you take an active part in your education and that you work in cooperation with others in the group to identify and use the talents and resources that are available. We expect that you will practice and continue to develop skills that help motivate people, promote their self-confidence, and contribute to their understanding of learning as a process of discovery.
The devices you will build will be as consistent as possible with the realities of conditions in the communities where you live and work. The criteria that will be used are:
- affordable and low in capital investment
- simple and adaptable in scale and design
- easily understood by people with little or no formal education
- responsive to local needs and conditions
- dependent on available resources and skills
- able to be constructed, operated, maintained and repaired by the users based on the use of renewable sources of energy
- characterized by the potential to contribute to local cooperation, good health and self-reliance.
The course is based on the principles of experiential learning and non-formal education. The teaching methods incorporate practical "hands-on" learning, guided and independent discovery, and the opportunity to learn from one another.
It is our intent to offer each participant the opportunity to learn new and useful information and to help spark a renewed sense of enthusiasm and discovery to share once the course has ended.