Bread for Hope

Andrew Deelstra, Austin Herrema, Cam Lindemulder

The residents of Christ Our Hope Orphanage in Monrovia, Liberia, currently eat a diet consisting primarily of rice and beans, which presents an aesthetic and potentially nutritional problem. Currently, their cooking is done on open-burner stoves, but they would like to be able to add baked bread to their diet. Our group designed, built, and tested a context-specific oven, as well as insulating bricks, that could be made using resources readily available in Liberia or other developing world contexts. This oven, along with the bricks will allow the residents to bake a variety of goods for both consumption at the orphanage and for sale to the surrounding area. Testing indicated that our homemade bricks provided better insulation than commercially available firebricks, and that our charcoal-fired oven prototype was capable of reaching cooking temperatures of over 400°F. In a single burn, it could sustain over 250°F for an hour and a half.