We are delighted to share that GVI have just been announced winners of the best volunteer organization category at the Virgin Holidays Responsible Tourism Awards. We would like to extend our sincere appreciation to everyone who voted for and supported us.
GVI volunteers work on this project throughout the year making important hands on contributions to our work. The attached article explains some of the impact made on our project in Guatemala and elsewhere thanks to everyone’s hard work and support.
In addition to the construction of energy efficient stoves which bring both health and environmental benefits to the communities in which we work, we also incorporate related topics into our educational work with the children.
In Honduras we recently observed the Day of the Tree. On this day children left the classroom to go outside and learn more about trees and why they’re important to us. This year, the students from our secondary school took on the task of educating the younger children from the primary school in San Rafael.
They read them stories, staged short plays and organised various games and activities as well as some refreshments. We all learned something and had loads of fun. And cake!
We continue to work with Indigenous communities in Central America, many of which have benefited from receiving energy efficient stoves thanks to this project. We have been checking the wood consumption of the stoves we have built so far and it is considerably less than before, as we thought.
The situation for poor families is particularly tough at the moment as food is very scarce, so the less time spent collecting firewood, more can be spent trying to work to get more food, or working in the fields.
Energy efficient stoves make a huge difference to the living conditions for these families with cleaner air in the home and free up more time for supporting the family.
The energy efficient stoves provided for families in Latin America carry huge benefits both for the families who receive them and for the environment. Each energy efficient stove uses 75% less firewood than open fires, a huge difference. The new stoves do however continue to use firewood as this is a readily available resource to poor communities. To help compensate for the trees which are used for fuel we have been doing reforestation work and have recently prepared 20,000 seedlings which will be tended by community members until they are ready to be planted in June 2011.
Activities like this are great in so many ways for the community as they not only help to bring improvements but provide an opportunity for everyone to work together strengthening bonds and can bring a focus to the benefit of our educational programs as activities are often cantered around the school.
We look forward to planting the trees and building more energy efficient stoves in 2011!
Hurricane Agatha hit Honduras hard and sadly caused much devastation however the stoves we have built thus far remain in tact. Having this efficient and reliable source for cooking is helping the families who have received stoves so far a great deal during this difficult time.
With several more stoves built this year we are nearing our target of having all of the community of San Rafael with energy efficient stoves, before we move into another community and offer help there.
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