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Jewish teens make solar cooker potholders for Darfur refugees

Benjamin Zawadzki shows off the potholders made by members of the Pinwheel Region United Synagogue Youth for Darfur refugees to handle hot solar cookers. The cookers take the place of outdoor fires, meaning that girls and women do not have to gather wood, which puts them at risk of attack.  - Patricia Blount/Contributed Photo
Benjamin Zawadzki shows off the potholders made by members of the Pinwheel Region United Synagogue Youth for Darfur refugees to handle hot solar cookers. The cookers take the place of outdoor fires, meaning that girls and women do not have to gather wood, which puts them at risk of attack.
— image credit: Patricia Blount/Contributed Photo

Jewish teens from the Pacific Northwest and Canada convened at Camp Solomon Schechter in Olympia, Wash., during two separate weekends this fall for fellowship and fun. One of the weekend projects, chaired by Benjamin Zawadzki, a member of the Pinwheel Region Board, focused on decorating potholders for the Solar Cooker Project, sponsored by Jewish World Watch of Encino, California.

The Solar Cooker Project, currently in its fifth year, has been a huge success with women and girls of Darfur now living in refugee camps in Chad. These women and girls, survivors of the genocide in Darfur, are again at risk for kidnapping, rape and murder when they leave the camps each day to gather firewood for cooking. Jewish World Watch Solar Cooker Project has already provided solar cookers to more than 50,000 women and girls who can now cook without risking attack. These solar cookers are also an environmentally friendly way to prepare food and are manufactured in the camps by paid refugees using African-made materials.

In November, Jewish World Watch held a mitzvah day for potholder decorating so that refugee women and girls receive beautifully hand-decorated potholders as a gift to accompany their newly acquired solar cookers. More than 150 potholders were decorated by United Synagogue Youth Pinwheel Region members and were shipped to Africa in January.

Find additional information about the Solar Cooker Project and other projects benefiting refugees in the Chad camps at www.jww.org.

 

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