2016-10 October Newsletter

Robi and OSU student volunteers lend a helping hand

This past June, volunteers from Oregon State University’s Humanitarian Engineering program traveled to Guatemala to conduct stove performance tests on the Ecoplancha III cookstove, evaluate EcoComal’s manufacturing process and factory flow and assist with a usage study in two remote villages. The trip was lead by professors Nordica MacCarty and Elizabeth Schroeder.

The team contended with torrential rain, steep hillsides, and 90+ degree temperatures throughout their two weeks, but were not deterred. The lack of clean and efficient cookstoves are a major detriment to public health and environmental conservation, and they wanted to help.

Robi, one intrepid volunteer, offered to return in September to help complete the usage study. She and Katie Laughlin, StoveTeam’s Program Director, were scheduled to depart on September 18th, however, at the last minute, Katie was unable to go.

Robi flew to Guatemala alone and with Marquito, the son of the factory owner, they continued the study. She and Katie communicated by Skype and email every evening, and the study moved forward.

Katie will return in November to wrap-up, and although a lot of analysis is still required, we are proud to be seeing some evidence of full-scale adoption of the stoves.

Thank you Robi and the students at Oregon State University. We couldn’t have done it without you!

Creating brighter futures with improved cookstoves

We believe that when we empower girls, we change the world. So, on October 11th we celebrated International Day of the Girl Child, a day declared by the United Nations to galvanize worldwide enthusiasm to better girls’ lives.

We know that lack of clean and efficient cooking technologies disproportionately impacts women and girls. Without fuel-efficient cookstoves, women and girls spend upwards of 20 hours a week collecting firewood to fuel their open fires - valuable time that could be spent in school, on income generating activities, or on personal advancement. Open fires also emit tremendous amounts of pollution inside the home, which are blamed for low birth weights and pneumonia in young children.

We are working to create more opportunities for women and girls through the introduction of new and improved cooking technology. This November, roughly 400 fuel-efficient Ecocina cookstoves will be disseminated in five isolated communities in Honduras. These stoves will benefit at least 390 women and more than 200 girls. As a part of this project, we will be tracking changes in the lives of the stove recipients to improve available data on the real and perceived impacts of fuel-efficient cookstoves.

We look forward to sharing our progress with you, our supporters who make this work possible!

Photo by Lynn Johnson 

Where in the world is Nancy?

Nancy Hughes, StoveTeam’s founder, spent the past few weeks raising awareness of the dangers of open cooking fires. One week was spent speaking to groups in the Seattle area and a second week speaking to Rotary Clubs near San Diego. Then, in an attempt to avoid the Oregon rain, she flew to Mexico for an inspiring week joining a global network of leaders dedicated to building sustainable solutions to eliminating poverty. She’s now back in Oregon organizing two upcoming volunteer trips to Guatemala. If you’d like to join Nancy in Guatemala, check out the details for each trip today! 

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