2017-05 May Newsletter

Storytelling for Social Change

Stories help us understand the world around us and relate to others in ways that transcend borders, languages and other differences that seemingly set us apart.

We recently led a group of 15 University of Oregon students and two staff to conduct interviews and photograph stove recipients- both before and after the intervention of a lifesaving cookstove. The team also interviewed others involved in making and distributing cookstoves including the mayor of a local municipality and EcoComal factory workers.

We are excited to share with you the stories the team gathered in the field. Be on the lookout for these stories in upcoming newsletters. We will also share these stories on Facebook and on social media. Be sure to “like” our page if you haven’t already!

Photo by: Rianna Saenz

Blanca Nieves, a Real-Life Snow White

Despite being named after a Disney princess, Doña Blanca's daily life is far from a fairy tale. She lives with her two children and husband in a cramped home in the town of Pastores.

For women like Doña Blanca who cook over open fire, the kitchen is a site of both nourishment and despair. Doña Blanca's eyes are constantly watery and her apron has caught fire several times. Growing up, her mother had a fuel-efficient  plancha stove that was given to her by a city project. The excitement of only using two pieces of wood to fuel an entire meal left an impression on her.

The open fire in her home uses upwards of eight tercios (a third of a donkey load) per week, which takes a toll on the family’s budget.

 “It is a blessing that you all have brought my new stove, it was not something I was expecting to receive. I thank you with all of my heart.” Doña Blanca 

Now that she has a new stove, Doña Blanca hopes to buy a fraction of the wood she currently uses and allocate that savings towards her children’s education, “[my children] are on their way up, they are the future of this family,” she said.

Doña Blanca’s struggles from cooking over dangerous open fires are experienced by women throughout the world. With a new fuel-efficient cookstove that saves lives, her future looks a little brighter.

You can change the life of a woman like Doña Blanca by donating today

Photo by: Jenna Broadhurst

Studying Impact in Guatemala 

StoveTeam recently completed a seven-month study in the impoverished communities of San Ramon and Las Brisas, Guatemala where cooking practices were evaluated pre- and post-intervention of a fuel-efficient cookstove. 

One of the biggest findings was that the introduction of an Ecocina cookstove resulted in a 70-80% displacement of the traditional open fire. That’s great news which will translate into valuable health benefits! Data also indicates that 70% of cooking in the study community of San Ramon was being conducted on the Ecocina cookstove.

Using temperature sensors and individual surveys, StoveTeam was able to track daily usage patterns and gauge individual user behaviors and opinions relating to stove use, thus helping us to better understand the impact of the Ecocina cookstove. The study also highlighted some barriers to complete adoption, including design improvements that will more effectively meet household energy needs and improve adoption of clean cooking solutions.

Read the detailed report.

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