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Welcoming The Hotbox (Wonderbag) Into Our Homes…‘training the trainer’

Aug 4, 2014

KwaDukuza Municipality, in collaboration with ICLEI Africa through the Urban-LEDS project, recently conducted a training session with KwaDukuza Environmental Ward Forum members to build their skills, knowledge and capacity so they can champion the rollout of an exciting new initiative, and be the community trainers in the next phase of the project.

The purpose of the training was to train the trainer by building skills, knowledge and capacity amongst environmental ward forum members. The training prepared the members for using their new Wonderbags that were handed out to them at the end of the training session. Wonderbags are a particular brand of insulated passive cooking (and cooling) device that can be used as a complementary energy saving technology for cooking, and also help promote awareness about energy consumption.

The training took the participants through a learning journey touching on all aspects of a Wonderbag including:
• Detailed description of what a Wonderbag is and what it is made of.
• Cooking and safety tips when using the Wonderbag.
• Benefits of using a Wonderbag.
• Cooking demonstration with a Wonderbag

Thembeka Mthuli, Senior Environmental Officer at KwaDukuza Municipality, demonstrated the wonders of cooking with a hotbox and simultaneously shared some of her personal wonders experienced since she began using it in her home. However, that was not the only experiences of wonder shared among the group because participant Catherine Zulu, environmental ward forum member at KwaDukuza Ward 12, confidently seconded the benefits of using the hotbox for cooking. Catherine has been using the technology for years.

This training formed the foundation and stepping stone to the hotbox rollout programme that is to follow in the months to come. KwaDukuza Municipality is piloting a rollout programme of 500 Wonderbags which will be given to a diverse spread of selected beneficiaries that reside in KwaDukuza. Each environmental ward forum member will be expected to lead the hotbox training to all the selected beneficiaries within their wards.

The benefits of using hotboxes are multiple. So, as KwaDukuza Municipality and ICLEI Africa, we say forward with:
• Poverty Alleviation
• Minimising food waste
• Carbon/energy savings
• Improved safety/reduced fire risk
• Improved health from reduced indoor air pollution
• Gender empowerment

All of the above is possible if you give your hotbox a warm welcome to your home.

The urban-LEDS project is a 3-year-project implemented by ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability, in partnership with UN-Habitat and funded by the European Commission. For more information visit www.urban-leds.org or follow @Urban_LEDS on twitter.

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