Dear Friends and Supporters,
Thanks to your generous support we have reached our goal of installing 50 improved cookstoves in Candelaria and Sonzapote! Over the last couple of weeks, I have been working with our local partner AsoFenix and the community stove promoters, Dora and Janeth to visit stove beneficiaries and conduct post-installation surveys. Through this survey, local women shared how the improved cookstoves have changed their lives, areas where they need more support and technicians reviewed proper maintenance for the stoves.
The women from the community spoke enthusiastically about their improved cookstoves recognizing the many benefits coming from the stoves. Yakeni G. shared, “In the beginning it was hard to get used to the new stoves, but now it is great especially the fact it is quicker to cook on and doesn’t produce smoke.” Another community member Isabel A. added, my stove is beautiful and that it saves me a lot of firewood.”
We are currently gathering the stove beneficiaries comments and observations into our final project report and will close the project by the end of August. We are grateful to all of our donors for their ongoing support, making this project possible. Thanks to you, women like Yakeni, Isabel and 48 others are saving firewood, reducing smoke in their kitchens, improving their and their family’s health and quality of life.
All the best,
We are thrilled to report that we have almost reached our goal of installing 50 improved cookstoves in Candelaria and neighboring community of Sonzapote! To date, we have installed 35 stoves in the communities. We are now finishing up by installing the final 15. AsoFenix has also been busy training local technicians to install and maintain the cookstoves. So far they have held two training sessions with families, two training sessions with local stove constructors and promoters, and have made a number of household visits. In mid- February, we also hosted a community exchange with El Balsamo, a community in which we have been implementing improved cookstoves since 2013.These trainings will allow local technicians to provide ongoing technical support for the systems into the future.
In addition to the cookstoves, we have been conducting reforestation education with youth in the community. From December through February, we hosted four workshops with children ages 7-14, teaching them about the function of trees in their ecosystem, climate change, and reforestation techniques. The youth collected local trees seeds and requested supplies and help from their community to establish a small tree nursery. They concluded their training by hosting a small celebration and community presentation on the importance of reforestation to their families.
As we wrap up this project, we’d like to thank you again for your ongoing support. Thanks to your contributions, these communities will be able to save firewood and will see a significant reduction of smoke in their kitchens, improving their health and quality of life. We couldn’t have done it without you!
All the best,
Wishing everyone a healthy and happy New Year! We are excited to report that we installed 29 improved cookstoves (including at Juana M.’s house) through the end of 2014. Due to your generous and continued support these families are starting 2015 with smoke free kitchens.
Elsa G., who received one of the very first stoves in the community, shared with us that she is very satisfied with her stove. She notes that her improved cookstove saves her a significant amount of firewood and greatly reduces the smoke in her kitchen. Elsa, who opened her house to the community during the stove fair, continues to support the other women in her community as they adjust to cooking with their new stoves and to spread interest for the technology to new families.
Three local technicians have integrated into the project and are learning how to construct, maintain and repair improved cookstoves. Once the project is complete, they will be available to provide ongoing technical support for families.
In the upcoming quarter we will install the remaining 21 improved cookstoves for rural families in Central Nicaragua.
Ps. Be sure to check out our updated project photos!
In rural Nicaragua cooking cultural is a central component of life. From early morning tortillas to late afternoon coffee and evening beans, the kitchen is a hub of activity. Sharing experiences between neighbors is one of the key ways that new families learn about the benefits of improved cookstoves. In September, families from Candelarias, Sonzapote and El Diamante joined us for the improved cookstove fair to learn about the technology, test cook some meals on various models and most importantly hear what their friends and neighbors think about the improved cookstoves they’ve been using in their homes.
Angela F., who has been using her improved cookstove for over three years, walked two hours to join the improved cookstove fair and share her experiences with the stove. She proudly talked about how she saves three times the amount of firewood as before and gave some important cooking tips for families interested in building an improved cookstove.
The stove fair was a huge success with over 80 participants attending the multi-community event. Elsa G. and Nubia L. welcomed dozens of people into their houses to view and cook on their new stoves. Additionally, we promoted the small Coci Nica model stove, youth from the community danced traditional dances, and rice pudding was shared by all.
Families in Candelarias send a heartfelt thank you to all of you who have supported this project. Tomorrow, Wednesday October 15th there is a 30% match on our Improved Cookstove Campaign on Global Giving. Please encourage your friends and families to consider donating to our program. The 30% match only lasts until noon, so please encourage everyone to give first thing in the morning! A donation of any amount helps us towards our goal of 50 clean cookstoves for rural Nicaraguan families!
PS. For those of you who have been concerned about the drought in Central Nicaragua, normal rains have return and families are currently expecting a full harvest in November!
For families in Candelaria and across Nicaragua agriculture is the backbone of the economy. Two thirds of the country’s exports are agricultural based and small producers depend on rainfall to feed their crops. The rainy season typically lasts six months beginning in May. This year, hardly any rain has fallen due to El Niño climate patterns, creating a devastating drought in Nicaragua. In Central Nicaragua where the community of Candelaria is located, families who are primarily subsistence farmers have been unable to grow a harvest (traditionally beans and corn). Families are starting to run out of grains from the previous year’s harvest and stretching their budgets to purchase food for their families. Everyone hopes that rainfall will increase, providing families with at least a bean and corn harvest in November.
In recent weeks, we’ve been strategizing how we can make improved cookstoves more accessible for families due to the dire economic situation for most families this year. We know that a significant contribution from the families towards the cost of the stove is key for the long term success of the project. Therefore we are looking for ways to maximize the contribution of the family through local materials, labor, and local transport to lower the payment they contribute towards the stove. Additionally, we are planning to extend the payment period for families to pay on their stove.
As we are preparing for the improved cookstove fair in a couple of weeks, we are looking to incorporate a new and very economical stove model to offer families a stove with a very low price point. We’ve been testing out a locally manufactured rocket stove called the Coci Nica at our office in Managua (see photo above). We like that the stove cooks quickly, reduces smoke and firewood consumption, is portable and is an alternative for families that cannot commit to larger improved cookstove at this time. We expect to offer this stove at our stove fair in a couple of weeks and anticipate that it will be an alternative stove for families that would otherwise not be able to acquire a stove this year.
Thanks to everyone for their continued support of this project and helping families in rural Nicaragua to reduce deforestation in their communities and smoke in their homes. We look forward to sharing more updates soon.
PS. More information about the drought in Nicaragua can be found here: http://www.ipsnews.net/2014/07/el-nino-triggers-drought-food-crisis-in-nicaragua/
Project Reports on GlobalGiving are posted directly to globalgiving.org by Project Leaders as they are completed, generally every 3-4 months. To protect the integrity of these documents, GlobalGiving does not alter them; therefore you may find some language or formatting issues.
If you donate to this project or have donated to this project, you will get an e-mail when this project posts a report. You can also subscribe for reports via e-mail without donating or by subscribing to this project's RSS feed.
Nicaragua Program Coordinator