StoveTeam Blog

06 Apr

Here's what we've been up to in April

A Note from Nancy: New Developments

Spring is a time of renewal and change. This year, for StoveTeam, it is a time of opportunity and growth – a time to look forward to the future we want to see and hope to create.

It is with this future in mind, that I share with you some exciting news and internal developments.

After a unanimous board vote, Katie Laughlin, who has been managing and supporting all of us for the past three years, has been promoted to the role of Executive Director of StoveTeam.

Katie has proven she has the capacity to lead StoveTeam into the future. She logically and professionally analyzes projects, motivates new ideas and thinking, and critically evaluates our programs. Most importantly, her passion and commitment to improving lives in Latin America are major assets in our efforts to ensure families in need receive the life saving benefits of fuel-efficient cookstoves. 

With Katie’s transition, and in order to increase our impact, the StoveTeam board saw both a need and an opportunity to grow the organization’s program staff. In May, Mike Hatfield will join our team as Program Manager. 

Mike started his career as a Rocket Stove designer in Central America in 1998 when he co-designed the Justa Griddle stove in Honduras. Since that time, his position at Aprovecho Research Center has taken him to more than 25 countries where he has worked with hundreds of NGO’s, small businesses and their cookstove designs. He knows our factory owners and our staff and lives only a few miles south of Eugene. 

We are so lucky to have such qualified and dedicated staff!

With your help, we feel confident in surging forward to help more women and children live healthier lives away from dangerous smoke! 

Where Have All the Trees Gone?

Throughout the developing world, deforestation is a major environmental concern exacerbated by cooking over open fires.  

On a recent trip to Guatemala, we spoke to the mayor of the small town of Pastores. He had assembled a task force after noticing a rise in deforestation in the mountains surrounding the town. The task force replanted trees and began watching the forests for improvement. There was none. 

This scenario is all too common where firewood is a necessity for the survival of millions of people and traditional three stone fires are the norm. 

Thankfully, the mayor of Pastores quickly realized that in order to combat deforestation, he had to address the root cause of the problem: the overharvesting of firewood to feed inefficient and dangerous open fires. 

In coordination with StoveTeam and the EcoComal Stove Factory, 17 Ecocinas were provided to families in his town. In addition to decreasing smoke emissions, the Ecocina will drastically reduce wood consumption, diminishing the burden of collecting firewood. Less wood burned means fewer trees will be cut down. Depleted forests harbor serious environmental consequences – landslides and loss of biodiversity are only two. 

Thank you for your continued support of a solution that promotes conservation and makes breathable air a reality for all. 

 Photo Credit: Aliana Allen-Maloney