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Nurturing cooks, honoring gifts with sunshine: Solar Oven Partners

By: Donna Fisher, Solar Oven Partner volunteer

Sop Slicing Bread

Slicing bread made with a solar oven. Photos by Solar Oven Partners (SOP) volunteers.

“My aunt made the most beautiful cherry pie and read us story books.”

“She bakes bread and it never sees the next day. It all gets eaten up the same day.”

“I remember my mother making cinnamon rolls every Saturday night.”

“She is making leche cortada (carmelized cheese curds) for sale. To make this candy, you have to stir and add things frequently. She has figured out a way to make it in the solar oven!”


Contact Marj Evans-de-Carpio 605-692-3391 or email to be a Volunteer in Mission.

Dominican Republic

March 2018, 12 VIM teams. The VIM team and the local team led by Erasme distributed 307 ovens in 2018.

January 2019, VIM teams, they distributed 167 ovens.

July 17-27, 2019, 5 VIM teams are registered; places for additional volunteers dependent on flight availability.

January 7-17, 2020, a VIM team is being formed for Spring 2020: Students wishing to travel during their Spring break, contact Marj and she will coordinate DR dates with stateside schedules.

Sierra Leone

November-December 2018, 7 VIM teams.

Seminar in Freetown with representatives of 20 UMCs. Seminar in Makeni plus two nearby villages. Seminar in Bo plus four nearby villages. Total distribution: 46 ovens.

Late Feb. to March 2020 trip being negotiated with local SL partners.

Indian Country

Summer two-day seminar 2018 in cooperation with Tree of Life on the Rosebud Reservation trained those interested in traveling to AZ as VIM. Distributed 13 ovens on Rosebud Reservation.

September 2018, 4 VIM teams to Navajo Nation with Faith Works partners to distribute 8 ovens.

Late September 2019, Dakotas team will do oven building and distribution at one or two locations in AZ in cooperation with Faith Works. (Contact Marj for more information.)

Whether they live in the Dakotas; Four Corners, Colorado; 
Makeni, Sierra Leone; or Monte Cristi, Dominican Republic, women (and men, too)
nurture their families and neighbors with lovingly prepared food—and more! They solve problems, teach lessons, and stretch resources. 

Who are the nurturing women in your life that you want to thank or remember with an exceptional gift this Mothers Day?  

Our mothers—and other women in our lives—have encouraged us to put love into action. Honor these women, or their memo­ries, by providing utensils for solar ovens built, equipped and delivered by Solar Oven Partners (SOP) volunteers. Your gifts ensure that every solar oven distributed in our seminars is equipped to cook, bake, and pasteurize water or milk. 

This Mothers Day, your financial gifts will buy pans and utensils for a solar cook. We will notify the person you wish to honor about this practical, heart-warming gift.  Download the flyer at the link and follow these easy directions. 

Sl Cook Cooking Pots

Here’s the “recipe” for a well-equipped solar oven:
• three 4-quart black enamel pans that hold heat and speed cooking
• reflective bread pan with black cloth to facilitate absorbing of heat
• measuring cups and spoons and oven thermometer
• WAPI-water pasteurization indicator-a lifesaver for babies and vulnerable elders
• pot holders made by SOP volunteers and a cookbook based on foods from each area where SOP teams help build ovens and present seminars

$30 equips one oven, $150 equips a box of 5 ovens. With your gift, share some of these facts about the impact of Solar Oven Partners: 

  • Solar ovens help families stretch their food/fuel dollars and support environmentally-sound practice. We’re changing how we conduct our seminars as we’re no longer using disposable plates and utensils to serve meals. We’re reducing plastic packaging for shipments by making small reusable cloth bags to replace plastic ziplock bags for oven accessories.
  • In our training seminars, we encourage cooks to innovate and use culturally-appropriate local foods like fish, plantains, and tubers. (Wherever we teach, though, everybody loves solar oven-baked chocolate cake and honey-wheat bread.)  
  • We’re strengthening working relationships with United Methodist-affiliated youth and community leaders in places as diverse as rural Sierra-Leone or reservation partners at Tree of Life on the Rosebud Reservation in South Dakota or Faith Works in Flagstaff, AZ. We work with Iglesia Evangelica Dominicana (IED), the largest Protestant church in the Dominican Republic (Methodist, Presbyterian and Moravian.) 
  • Cooperation with churches in other states continues to develop. Recently, a Volunteers in Mission (VIM) team from Sartell, MN, arranged a trip with fellow Dakotans and UM missionaries Gordon and Ardell Graner. The Graners coordinated with Erasme Figaro, SOP’s Dominican director, to do an oven distribution. “Now the Sartell folks are enthusiastic about SOP through their mission journey experience,” says Marj Evans-de-Carpio.  

Solar Oven Partners thanks our financial partners and workshop volunteers for their support all year long. Rejoice with us in the sun’s blessing. It’s “a recipe” for love in action.

Reusable Dishes


Dakotas Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church 605.996.6552 Announcements Slider.jpg 1331 University Ave. Mitchell SD 57301-0460 US 43.69689310 -98.03291320 122 W. Franklin Avenue Ste 400 Minneapolis MN 55404 US 0.00000000 0.00000000 1331 W University Ave Mitchell SD 57301 US 0.00000000 0.00000000 1331 University Ave Mitchell SD 57301 US 0.00000000 0.00000000