The new year began with much activity at Light and Power Centre, a microenterprise and mentorship program for young men in Gatina Slum. In January, several graduates of Akiba High School joined existing members at the Centre and two new projects were initiated. The Pupu Paper Project prepares designer stationary using recycled waste products, elephant dung, and local plants. Members of Light and Power are now working to develop a whole line of greeting cards and stationary with the pupu paper. Our hope is that this will provide a source of income to the youth and teach valuable job skills. The Pupu Paper Project and other new initiatives are utilizing a new production shed at the back of the Centre. Meanwhile renovation and landscaping work continues as Light and Power aims to establish an oasis of beauty, cleanliness, and order within Gatina Slum
Recently, Light and Power also began efforts to make energy efficient jikos. A jiko is a small stove used for cooking and it normally burns wood or charcoal. In some areas of Kenya it is difficult to find fuel for cooking, and among nomadic communities it is an arduous task that can often strip the land bare. The organization Food for the Hungry presented Light and Power with a challenge: develop a compact, easy to transport, energy efficient stove that can be used in these communities. Food for the Hungry will then purchase the stoves, train families how to use them, and distribute to needy areas.