Hi everyone Kaylla here!
Today was filled with a multitude of workshops both at the office and in Dolatpura. We started our day at Dolatpura hoping to hold a workshop with Sameetraben and several women in the village, but she was still out of town so we headed back to hold our workshops in the office. The two workshops we held were on grant writing and the other on communications/digital media. It was good to share some of our own knowledge and experiences with the SETCO Foundation team since they have been helping us so much here in the field.
In the afternoon, we went back to Dolatpura to hold the stoves workshop. Just in time, Sameetraben and her husband came zooming back into town on their motorbike to facilitate the event. Sameetraben’s expertise and opinion is extremely important when convincing other women about the effectiveness and potential of the stove, so we were relieved that she could make it back.
As we waited for Salmaben and Rajesh to come with their cameraman, women began to filter into Sameetraben’s backyard, gathering around the second prototype, and under a tree to find shelter from the heat of the afternoon.
Erica eagerly handed out copies of an illustrated pamphlet we made yesterday which details the materials, tools, and designs of our stove, so women could follow along as Salmaben, Zoha, Sai, Shilpen, Rajesh, and Sameetraben explained the why’s, what’s, and how’s of the co-designed stove.
At first, many of the women were tentative since they were not sure how fast the stove would actually cook food, but as soon as Sammetraben started to talk about her experience co-designing with us, the women started to be convinced and more willing to try it.
Salmaben also talked about the stove as a way of empowerment and economic opportunity since the stoves have business potential. Eventually, the crowd moved toward the last prototype Sameetraben made at Manojbhai’s house, and its neater, taller, and square design were characteristics that a lot of the women liked. All in all the workshop went very well with some women even coming from other villages (visiting their families in Dolatpura) and thinking of bring the design to their own homes.
Tomorrow is our last day in the village and I am sad to leave our friends in Dolatpura and at the foundation. The experience of co-designing and making relationships with people across the world in an entirely different amazing culture has taken my life view in new directions. Thank you to everyone who has worked with us, helped us navigate the language, learn building techniques, culture, and logistics, and made our trip as successful as it was.
I’ll be back for Rajasthan.