The following is a postcard from Lydia Sorensen, GlobalGiving's In-the-Field Representative in Guatemala, about her recent visit to Hunger Relief International.
Down the hill from where the new community school is being built, a group of 20 women gather to meet with the Hunger Relief International staff. In this community with approximately 200 children and their families, these women are soon going to be receiving new, sustainable, stoves. Soon they will be able to make hot food for their families without worrying about filling their houses with smoke or burning themselves over the open fires.
A few miles away is another community that has already received their stoves. The women proudly show them off (all have something cooking on top), and talk about the difference that it’s made in their lives. “Before I used to burn myself on the smoke, all the time” says one recipient, “now it’s much better”. By using less wood but producing as much (if not more) heat, the stoves are also both more economical and also more environmentally friendly.
Joselito (the local mason hired to construct the stoves) will work the women of Los Chilitos during the next month hopefully making one new stove a day. The women agree to provide someone to help him carry the heavy materials, and pay a small fraction of the cost, and they eagerly congregate to pick a number from a bag that will be the order in which they receive their stove. 20, 12, 7, 13…it’s down to the last woman who triumphantly thrusts her number in the air “One!”
In 2013, HRI's safe and energy efficient cookstoves proved to be a huge success in Guatemala. As a result of 45 new stoves constructed, more than 400 people now reside in safer homes with greatly improved air quality. Your support for these stoves continues to reduce the rate of chronic respiratory illness, burns, and environmental degradation, while also positively impacting family finances and nutrition.
In this new year we are continuing the positive momentum of our clean cookstove intiative. We have 47 new stoves slated to be built in the first six months of 2014, reaching even more children and families in need. We hope you will continue to support this project and spread the word about the many ways clean cookstoves are positively impacting the health and well-being of children and families.
Since late 2012 we have been able to garner great support for our life saving initiative to bring safer, more efficient cook stoves into the homes of impoverished families in the dry-corridor of Guatemala. Thanks in part to your support of our project through GlobalGiving, we have constructed a total of 45 stoves benefiting over 400 people.
Stove recipients continue to provide positive feedback on their new stoves. They have expressed huge relief from the health and economic burden caused by their existing stoves. The new stoves are already resulting in a significant reduction in the incidence of respiratory illness, and are creating huge time and cost savings for families. It is clear that the long term environmental, health, and economic impacts of these stoves will be even more significant.
We are looking forward to continued support of this project so more communities and families will benefit. As you consider your holiday giving, please keep in mind our work to create positive sustainable change for vulnerable children and families.
Thanks to the amazing support HRI has received through GlobalGiving, we have been able to construct 35 clean, energy efficient stoves in the rural dry corridor of Guatemala. The energy around this project has been remarkable and we are happy to be receiving such positive feedback from stove recipients about how much these stoves are changing their lives for the better.
We are thrilled at the strides we have been able to make so far, but there are so many families still in need of a safer, more efficient stove in their home. To date, we have exhausted all the funds we have raised through GlobalGiving and we need your help to reach more families and continue the momentum of support for this life saving project.
Here's how you can help:
This September, GlobalGiving is launching a fundraiser tool where supporters like you can help raise money for projects you care about. You will also be in the running for some great prizes that will be givien to supporters who create fundraiser pages and raise the most money. In addition, GlobalGiving is offering $3,500 in bonus awards to the organizations with the most successful fundraisers!
Together we can expand our reach and continue this life saving project for families in need. Please consider how you can help spread the word. Thank you for your tremendous support!
We are very thankful for all of the support we have received for our initiative to bring clean, energy efficient stoves to vulnerable families in rural Guatemala. Your donation through Global Giving has allowed us to build 10 stoves already, and we have 10 more stoves scheduled to be built over the next 4 to 6 weeks!As we visit with and talk to stove recipients, we are hearing amazing stories about the enormous difference these stoves are making in their family's lives. Following is feedback that we received from two women who are benefiting from new stoves:"I am so appreciative for all of the help that HRI has given to our community, but most of all I am grateful for the new cooking stove my family received and helped to build. We could never have saved enough money to purchase the materials for the stove without the help of HRI. This new stove also uses much less wood than our old one, and here we have to pay for all of our wood. This helps us save 20-25 quetzales (2-3 dollars), which is almost half of our income every week. I've been able to buy more food for my family and other items we need. Our new stove is a real blessing to my family!" -Doña Florentina"Our new stove has changed our lives - thank you HRI. There is no more smoke in our home and it is easier to breathe, especially for me and my grandchildren. We also save a lot of money on firewood, which has been a great financial relief to my family. During the rainy season I used to buy three stacks of firewood for cooking, but now I can use small branches and sticks, and I only need to pay for one stack of wood." -Doña Rosa
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