- "Ecological": using furnaces spares the use of wood or charcoal. These furnaces are called further "ecofours'. To promote and help develop and distribute these improved furnaces, and reduce the consumption of available wood.
- "Social": the poorest families are protected from having to pay for increasingly expensive wood or charcoal. Solfa makes this "ecofours" available to the most vulnerable families: child families, single-parent families, sick or disabled and the elderly. The local partners of Solfa-International ivzw are the Soroptimist clubs of Ruhengeri and Gisenyi in Rwanda. They determine what type of furnace is needed where and to whom. They do this by consulting with the local authorities. In RD Congo, Kisantu runs an analogue pilot project within the framework of a microcredit program
Definition of an ‘improved stove’, ‘four amélioré’ or ‘ecofours:
- The minimum cooking comfort and least energy efficient is cooking on an open fire with wood between three stones, or charcoal centred in a group of loose stones. These cooking situations are not only the least efficient in terms of energy, but are also at the same time the least hygienic with the highest risk of burns and dust / smoke inhalation.
- The maximum cooking comfort and maximum energy efficient is cooking with an indoor stove in a separate cottage, with solid masonry, for which both wood and charcoal are suitable, offering space for a hygienic approach, which burns from overturned pots are avoided and where either no smoke is produced (charcoal) or the smoke is evacuated. (Wood)
- However : “The “ 'improved stove’ doesn’t exist, because cooking situations in the families are very diverse, and the possible solutions equally as diverse. An 'improved stove', though sometimes suboptimal, always utilises the least, wood or charcoal, and creates greater comfort and healthier cooking for the environment.