The story of the Chulha project in Laos began in 2009, when Toon was traveling by motorbike in the mountains of Xieng Khouang province of northern Laos. In the late afternoon, he stopped to put on his jacket, when Mr. Vanxaythor, the English teacher of a small village called Nong Oln, stopped by and invited him to his house.
When Toon arrived, the family was preparing dinner on an open fire. The kitchen was full of smoke and he got tears his eyes and he could hardly breathe. Toon got so much involved, that he decided to help them and look for a solution for this wide spread problem. This way of cooking is the common way in nearly all of Laos and in many other development countries.
Back at home, Toon found a perfect solution for this problem in the Low Smoke Chulha stove from Philips Design. Toon got a free license from Philips to build the stove and decided to start up a Chulha production in Nong Oln, the home village of Mr. Vanxaythor.
Chulha project time line:
– August 2009: Toon learns about the indoor smoke pollution at first hand.
– September 2009: Toon finds the Chulha low smoke stove from Philips Design and gets a free licence.
– February 2010: Baking and selling 1060 pancakes to raise money for the project.
– March 2010: ordering the moulds for casting the concrete parts of the stove.
– April 2010: 2n visit in Nong Oln for briefing and project preparation.
– June 2010: (desperately :-)) communicate with mold maker in India to get the moulds for the Chulha on time to Laos.
– July 2010: Start of the Chulha production and training of the Chulha team with the help of Christina and Harry.
– December 2010: Fixing some issues regarding cooking time and exhibition with printed pictures in Nong Oln.
– April 2011: Exhibition with printed pictures from Christina and Harry at the university college of Gent to raise awareness for the indoor smoke pollution problem.
– July 2012: Exhibition in Melle for raising donations during an art happening.
– Summer 2012: Planing and start preparations for a dedicated Chulha workshop.
– April 2013: Starting a local marketing campaing for the Chulha with printed posters to hang on market places and shops.
– September 2013: The Chulha workshop in Nong Oln has a roof.
– April 2014:Wariyeng is finishing the stairs and the the first floor of the Chulha workshop.