Supermodel and UNEP Goodwill Ambassador Gisele Bundchen Participates in CleanCook Ethanol Stove Demonstration and Household Visits in Kisumu, Kenya

For Immediate Release

January 10, 2012 – Kisumu, Kenya

“We don’t hear about this and yet the solutions are so simple,” Gisele noted about extreme energy poverty worldwide. Gisele carries firewood for cooking with Kenyan women in Kisumu. Photo by David Owen.

Supermodel and philanthropist Gisele Bündchen visited several clean cookstove projects including the CleanCook ethanol stove during a five-day “energy access exposure visit” to Kenya in honor of the UN-launchedInternational Year of Sustainable Energy for All.  The event took place in Kisumu, a city that reflects the energy crisis impacting more than three billion people worldwide: lack of access to clean household energy. The visit was hosted by the UK-based charity, Practical Action and facilitated by the Ethiopian non-profit Gaia Association.

The high-profile visit was designed to communicate issues of energy poverty to Goodwill Ambassador Bündchen, who has been named the “greenest celebrity in the world.” Ms. Bündchen carried fuelwood alongside Kenyan women, observed smoky living environments and learned about the dangers of collecting and cooking with polluting fuels. “Energy for all is achievable. Just two per cent of global investment is needed,” stated Ms. Bündchen one week before the official launch of the UN event. Daniel Machado da Fonseca, Head of the Economic and Commercial Section of the Brazilian Embassy in Kenya and bio-fuel expert, brought the Brazilian philanthropist together with Gaia to discuss how Gaia and Brazil could work to improve worldwide access to ethanol for household use. Mahder Alebachew, Project Coordinator of Gaia Association personally demonstrated the CleanCook stove to Ms. Bündchen, and explained the time savings and health benefits for women and girls achieved by cooking with a clean, liquid fuel.  Gisele, who is married to American football star Tom Brady, is expected to be an international champion for energy access for women and girls, joining US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton and actress Julia Roberts in the cause.

Project Gaia is working in partnership with Practical Action to implement a UNDP-funded study that will pilot 120 CleanCook stoves and assess the feasibility and acceptance of ethanol stoves and fuel in Kisumu. The ethanol supply will come from Spectre International Ltd., a large-scale distiller located in Kisumu.  In Dadaab, Kenya, Project Gaia has been involved in providing technical support to UNHCR Dadab refugee camp where 300 cookstoves are in place for pilot testing.

Gaia Association and Project Gaia, Inc. are non-profit, non-governmental organizations working to provide clean-burning stoves and alcohol fuels to families in Africa, Latin America and Haiti.



Mahder Alebachew – Project Coordinator, Gaia Association (Ethiopia)


Gulce Askin – Project Coordinator, Project Gaia Inc (USA)

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