Monday, August 18, 2014

Institutional Stove
Dr. Cisse watches a pot boiling on a 60 Liter Stove.

Assitan Sylla Traore Reporting

Yesterday, we had the honor and pleasure to host Dr. Cisse Ramata Sissoko. Originally from Mali, Dr. Cisse Ramata came to visit me and my children in Eugene, Oregon from Washington D.C where she traveled last week to meet with the current President of Mali H.E. Ibrahim Boubacar Keita on the sidelines of the U.S.-African Leaders Summit. I have told her about the work of InStove; but because it is better to see once than hear hundred times, I invited Dr. Cisse to take an InStove tour.

Dr. Cisse graduated from the University of Georgia in 2012 with a PHD in Poultry Science where she researched the effects of low energy balance on reproductive performance. Her second project was into the effects of introducing millet into poultry diet.

institutional autoclave
Adam Creighton, demonstrates a sterilizer for medical instruments.

She is very dynamic and likes creative solutions to real problems; and she was amazed with our improved cookstoves and allied technologies and told us she has been thinking about a similar solution to the issue of smoke emission and wood consumption for women cooks in Mali.

“I wish that you could see inside my brain. I have imagined something like this for so long, and now I am seeing it.” said Dr. Cisse enthusiastically.

Because she was born and raised in Mali like me, she understands the values and need for this stove. “This needs to be successful,” said Dr. Cisse. “It is too important!” "There are so many places where your stoves could be used in Mali!" she said. For example, people selling live chicken at each local market in Bamako could use the stove to remove feathers from the chickens. She is excited and promised to explore InStove innovations and opportunities for implementing in projects in Mali.

Dr. Cisse reviews the briquette Press

She is thinking about presenting our stove to IPR (Institut Polytechique Rural), an agricultural school in Mali, where she meet a lady who cooks for the student’s body as well as women selling in the street. 

She was also impressed with our sterilizer for medical instruments which is designed for use in rural clinics that do not have access to electricity or in urban hospitals that suffer from electricity outages.

In addition, Dr. Cisse, together with other Malians, is working on a waste management project which is a big challenge right now for Mali. She thinks that InStove's briquette press could be very useful for that project. She suggested to InStove to join hands together in order to launch a briquette press pilot project in Mali.

(Check out this link for a video on using our stove)
Dr. Ramata Cisse Sissoko with Fred Colgan, Executive Director of InStove.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Dr Cissé Ramata Sissoko Fascinée par les Innovations d'InStove

Dr Cissé ouvrant une marmite InStove de 60L en ébullition.

Le lundi 11 Aout 2014, nous avons eu l'honneur et le plaisir d'accueillir Dr. Cisse Ramata Sissoko dans les locaux d'InStove  à Cottage Grove dans l'Etat d'Oregon. Originaire du Mali comme moi, Ramata était venue me rendre visite à Eugène de Washington D.C., après sa rencontre avec le Président de la République  Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, en marge du Sommet des Chefs d’Etats Africains avec Barack Obama. Je lui ai parlé de mon travail et de la mission d’InStove et je l’ai invitée à visiter nos structures car il vaut mieux voir une fois qu'entendre cent fois.
Adam Creighton, Directeur Adjointd' InStove montrant un stérilisateur pour le matériel médical au Dr.Cissé Ramata Sissoko.

Dr Cissé a obtenue son Doctorat en Aviculture a l'Université de Géorgie en 2012, où elle a étudié les effets de l’insuffisance d'énergie sur les performances de la reproduction. Son deuxième projet était sur ​​les effets de l'introduction du mil dans l’alimentation de la volaille.

 Dr Cissé est très dynamique et aime les solutions créatives aux problèmes réelselle a été émerveillée par nos foyers améliorés ainsi que les autres technologies conçues par InStove. Elle nous a dit qu'elle a pensé à une solution similaire à la question des émissions de fumée et de la consommation de bois pour les femmes cuisinières au Mali. "Comme j’aurai souhaité que vous poussiez lire dans mes pensées! J'avais imaginé quelque chose comme ça depuis si longtemps, et maintenant je le voit. "

 Parce qu'elle est née et a grandi au Mali comme moi, elle comprend la valeur et les besoins pour ces foyers. "Ces foyers auront beaucoup de succès !" a déclaré le Dr Cissé. "C’est très important!" Il y a tellement d'endroits où vos foyers pourront être utilisés au Mali! "dit-elle. Par exemple, les vendeurs de poulets dans chaque marché local à Bamako pourront utiliser vos foyers pour chauffer l'eau et enlever les plumes des poulets.
Adam Creighton, montrant une presse à briquette au
Dr. Cisse Ramata Sissoko.

Elle est encouragée et inspirée par ce qu'elle a découvert et a promis d'explorer les innovations d’InStove et les opportunités offertes pour la mise en œuvre de projets au Mali.

Elle pense déjà à faire une présentation sur les foyers d'Instove à l'IPR (Institut Polytechnique Rural), une école d'agriculture au Mali, et mettre tout en œuvre pour que  les femmes vendeuses de rue puisent avoir ces foyers. Elle a surtout pensé  à une brave dame qu'elle a eu l'honneur de rencontrer et qui fait la cuisine pour les étudiants de l'IPR.

 Elle a également été impressionné par notre stérilisateur pour le matériel médical, qui est conçu pour une utilisation dans les cliniques rurales qui n'ont pas accès à l'électricité ou dans les hôpitaux urbains qui souffrent de coupures d'électricité.

Par ailleurs, Dr Cisse, avec d'autres Maliens résident aussi bien aux USA qu'au Mali, est en train d’élaborer un projet de gestion des déchets qui est un grand défi en ce moment pour le Mali. Elle pense que la presse à briquette d'Instove pourrait être très utile pour ce projet. Elle a suggéré à InStove de lancer un projet pilote de presse à briquette au Mali afin de transformer les déchets biodégradables en combustible pour la cuisine.
Pour en savoir plus sur les produits InStove tapez:

Dr. Ramata Cissé Sissoko (à gauche) et Fred Colgan, Directeur Général d'InStove

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

An Opportunity for Local Support from Local Angels

Adam Creighton Reporting

The response that InStove has received from our Huffington Post debut is nothing short of extraordinary, and yet, we've been granted another amazing opportunity.

InStove Manufacturing Ltd. was recently selected as a finalist in the Southern Oregon Angel Conference held in Jacksonville on April 30th. At this event, one Oregon-based start-up will be selected as the winner, and be eligible to receive a large first-round investment from the Southern Oregon Angel Investor Network.

InStove Manufacturing Ltd. will be up against four other companies including: Fire Cirkl, Home School Technical Apparel, Nouvola, and Rogue Rovers.

InStove Manufacturing Ltd. attracts working capital
 and manages the production of our technologies, 
like the Institutional Cookstoves!
InStove Manufacturing Ltd. is a for-profit organization founded by Institutional Stove Solutions (InStove) to manage the production of our technologies. The idea follows the non-profit sector best practice of licensing technologies to be produced by associated for-profit entities. This allows the for-profit organization to attract working capital and scale up to meet demand in ways not available to the nonprofit.

InStove Manufacturing Ltd.'s selection as a finalist follows our win at the Portland Social Venture Society's "Fast Pitch" competition in February, where we took first place.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

InStove Leaps Forward in Building Relations with Zambia

Alison Jelden Reporting

Recently, InStove hosted Palan Mulonda, Zambian Ambassador to the United States, during his visit to Cottage Grove. InStove was honored to have His Excellency tour our facility and learn about the factory-in-a-box model that we are taking steps to implement in Zambia this year. 

Brian Mulenga, Fred Colgan, His Excellency, and Kirk Shauer talk shop.
“We need start-up funding to make this a reality,” said Fred Colgan, Executive Director of InStove. “Partnerships and funding are critical in creating a sustainable business. We have the product, we have the team and the motivation—now we just need the funding.”

Ambassador Mulonda has worked for the Zambian Ministry of Justice and served as the executive director of the Institute of Human Rights Intellectual Property and Development Trust (HURID) in Zambia. He has been involved in the promotion of human rights for many years. So, when he learned of the great opportunity presented by InStove from a letter we sent him in early February, he wanted to make sure it didn’t slip away. He scheduled his trip immediately.

“This stove is not an alternative,” said His Excellency after seeing a demonstration, “it’s the solution.”

His Excellency was accompanied on his visit by Brian Mulenga, Political and Cultural Advisor to the Zambian Embassy. From their arrival, it was a non-stop schedule. Accompanied by InStove, the diplomatic team was received by Michael Gottfredson, President of the University of Oregon; Dr. Dennis Galvan, Vice Provost of the UO Office of International Affairs; Eric Benjaminson, executive director of the Gabon Oregon Transnational Research Center on Environment and Development; and the mayors of both Eugene and Cottage Grove. 

Senators Merkeley and Wyden also sent field representatives to meet with and welcome the ambassador and his advisor. 

Representatives of SOHIP--Seeds of Hope International Partnership, including Executive Director, Kirk Shauer, were also present for the visit. SOHIP and InStove are working in partnership to bring stove production to rural Zambia. Both organizations took part in final discussions at InStove headquarters on Thursday. 

InStove is thankful and appreciative of The Ambassador, SOHIP, Senators Merkeley and Wyden, and all who helped to make this visit a success.

InStove also wishes to specifically thank Backstage Bakery (Cottage Grove), and Mazzi’s and The Electric Station (Eugene) for demonstrating their generosity to His Excellency and guests during the visit.

 1) Kitty Piercy is presented with a gift from InStove at Mazzi's. 2) InStove staff and The Ambassador enjoy lunch at The Electric Station. 

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Thinking About My Future

Lauren Wellbaum reporting

Lauren is a Social Media Intern with InStove.
Wrapping up my senior year of college, I have been spending a lot of time thinking about my future. I have an abundance of decisions to make! What will I do when I graduate? Where do I want to work now that I have graduated? Where do I wish to live? What I do not think about enough are the privileges I am experiencing at this very moment.

There are many people in many areas of the world that would treasure opportunities that I don't think about. For instance, a job seeker in Nigeria faces an unemployment rate of almost 30%. Some of these unemployed Nigerians have successfully completed higher education, even when it has cost them and their family much hardship. 

Two of the mechanical engineer graduates in
 Nigeria who are now employed at the InStove factory. 
InStove is here to help. InStove produces innovative technologies in Nigeria to empower local workers and bring hope to the future of our world. This creates a more stable and sustainable environment which we hope will improve Nigeria's unemployment rate. It's your turn to make a difference. Join InStove on its mission to relieve suffering to vulnerable populations worldwide. 

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

ETHOS Conference Reports on "Stove Stacking" and Adoption Rates

Alison Jelden Reporting

From January 24-26, InStove sent a team of engineers and dedicated staff to the 15th annual Engineers in Technical and Humanitarian Opportunities of Service (ETHOS) conference in Kirkland, Washington. Each year, stove enthusiasts from various sectors gather at the ETHOS conference to share research, development, and best practices from the lab and field.

“The main goal is to make connections within the stove community and to see what’s going on with stove protocols,” said Stella Strother-Blood, InStove Project Coordinator.

Stella Strother-Blood explains innovative technology to a fellow stove enthusiast

One of the main issues addressed this year at ETHOS was soliciting follow-up questions from communities where new models of clean cook stoves have been introduced.

Changing a stove requires changing behaviors. As InStove and other stove organizations have learned, just because an efficient stove will benefit a community this condition alone is not sufficient for successful adoption of the technology. People must adopt the stove and the behavioral changes that go with it. 

Stove organizations also shared a phenomenon they encountered in the field in which users will stack the new stove on top of the old stove. This practice, called “stove stacking” is problematic: if a cook persists in using the old stove and the new one simultaneously, then they are not receiving the health benefits.

InStove’s goal for 2014 is to expand our factory system and build factories in Senegal and Zambia. Building on past strengths and the best practices in the industry, we increase adoption rates by building relationships with cooks before adoption and asking frequent follow-up questions afterward. Such questions include “How do you like the stoves?” and “What can we do to improve the stoves?” These questions have led to developments including the creation of our 100 Liter Stove, and the addition of handles to our 100 Liter Institutional Cookstoves.

Collecting and adopting user feedback is critical for designing a stove that people will use.

“The overall message is to follow up with InStove consumers and visit them once a year to talk about experience and update stoves,” said Fred Colgan, founder of InStove. “The [local] factory system will give us those kinds of answers.”

Fred Colgan speaking at ETHOS about factory systems

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Four New Additions to our Cottage Grove Headquarters!

Assa (sixth from right) and the rest of the InStove staff.
The New Year brings many new faces to InStove. Talented interns and a fulltime staff member have joined us this January! We are happy to welcome Assa Sylla Traore as our Africa Project Coordinator. Assa hails from Mali in West Africa and recently completed her second Master’s degree in International Studies at the University of Oregon.

“It means a lot to me to know that in Cottage Grove, miles from Africa, someone is making stoves to relieve women suffering and promote their health,” she said.

Assa will be focusing on developing new and old partnerships throughout Africa’s diverse countries.

We are also joined by three social media interns: Allison, Lauren, and Samantha.

Alison and Buster the tortoise. 
Alison is pursuing a degree in Public Relations and is passionate about animal conservation. Her ideal weekend would include visiting an aquarium, but her life goal is to prevent further animal extinction.

Lauren in Italy.
“[At InStove] I hope to gain skills on how to strategically communicate stories and news to the community that will give back to others around the world,” said Alison.

Our second intern, Lauren, is studying Journalism with an emphasis in Communication Studies. “I hope to combine my passion for writing and travel and pursue a goal that is interesting, challenging, and enjoyable,” said Lauren. “I like that InStove is working to create a healthy environment for people living in the developing world.”

Samantha ready to cheer on her university.
Our third intern, Samantha, is pursuing a degree in English with a minor in folklore. “I think that social media is the future of our world and a great way of communicating with others,” she said. Samantha first heard about InStove at the UO Career Fair, and promptly started following our Twitter account. “I really want to help make a difference and spread InStove’s mission through social media outlets.”

We are excited to welcome such a passionate group of interns to our team!