Rubaare Educational Foundation (REF)Rubaare, Uganda

parent-groupThe Rubaare Education Foundation (REF) is a rural school district in Southwestern Uganda serving over 1,600 students, many of whom are orphans or very poor. The Director of REF is Henry Twinemasiko, an inspirational and dynamic leader who is well respected in the local community.

Biomass Energy Efficiency Project (BEEP)

TCP is working with REF to provide a comprehensive energy efficiency program for the schools, which are in dire need of fuel for cooking and lighting. TCP has established a fuel briquette program at REF and the students at REF’s main campus have been trained in the art of making fuel briquettes. In addition to the briquette program, TCP has built a shelter to house the briquette making operation and installed solar lighting at one of REF’s primary schools. The cookstoves on the school’s main campus have been upgraded with custom wood and briquette stoves, which has dramatically reduced smoke in the cookhouse and saved fuel.

Key Components Impacts
Briquetting Program

High school/vocational students make briquettes for the REF main campus using Peterson Presses and charcoal dust as feedstock.
qMNKheFPpgNyXxN1duHyfKEFPVjEcGXg1-Bkz9G7v3QReduced Costs

30 -40% reduction in fuel costs due to use of briquettes and new stoves.
Clean Cookstoves

New custom stoves have been installed on the main campus to reduce. Additional REF schools will soon be upgraded.
MKzGjB4lKlxAbIy05MLXQov-VSyLCg89YYrpLGJTeNcImproved Health

Significant reduction in indoor air pollution is a huge benefit for employees and students in the cookhouse.
Solar Lighting

Solar lighting has been installed in one school and will be expanded to the other schools in 2014.
TmeBUOJ_vOtTQ-gSbzZAhUuCAsfTawoGqIQibIiEBs8,rhUNwslIfPqJ-bSUvsLBLW9y0miBbN6WcjPqvPYFCUkAccess to Lighting

Solar lighting improves student productivity by providing lighting for studying and classroom time in the evening hours.


REF students make briquettes for fuel.


New custom cookstove.


Solar lights at a primary school.


View of the hills in Rubaare


Livestock provides food for the students.


Fishing by members of a parent group.


Students work after school to help pay for fees.


Parent association group with Henry.


Parent groups work together to support the REF schools.


The old cookhouse - very smoky.


Tending goats.


Students in class in the large assembly building.


The school makes its own bricks for these new buildings.


Briquetting team.


A parade for a visitor


New pots improve the efficiency of the stoves.

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Students holding the finished briquettes.

Thanks to the charcoal project

Students display their products.

REF students make briquettes for fuel.New custom cookstove.Solar lights at a primary school.View of the hills in RubaareLivestock provides food for the students.Fishing by members of a parent group.Students work after school to help pay for fees.Parent association group with Henry.Parent groups work together to support the REF schools.The old cookhouse - very smoky.Tending goats.Students in class in the large assembly building.The school makes its own bricks for these new buildings.Briquetting team.A parade for a visitorNew pots improve the efficiency of the stoves.Students holding the finished briquettes.Students display their products.

The briquette press used in this slide show is the Peterson Press and Peterson Drying Racks are used for drying the briquettes.


News from the Project

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Our partnership with the Rubaare community is one example of how The Charcoal Project is working to achieve its mission, which is to promote and facilitate the widespread use of biomass energy efficiency solutions for the 3 billion energy poor worldwide who still depend on wood, charcoal, and other biomass for their daily fuel. For more information or to support our program, please contact Sylvia Herzog at

Photos courtesy of Lesley Player, Isaac Owor, Sylvia Herzog and J. Kim Chaix.