To celebrate Earth Day, we wanted to share this report from Ricardo Garcia, project coordinator in Santa Rosa, Honduras. It’s about eco-stoves that help both the environment and the health of our sponsored friends.
In 2008, the Santa Rosa project in Honduras initiated a medical campaign to benefit all the sponsored members and their families.
During the campaign, we learned that many mothers suffered from pulmonary emphysema caused by excessive smoke from cooking food.
Later in 2009, we initiated a reforestation effort because large swaths of trees were being cut in the communities. But the problem wasn’t getting better.
One solution addressed both problems. We decided to build eco-stoves because they use less firewood and they don’t produce smoke in the home.
Getting the program off the ground was difficult because the families were accustomed to seeing lots of smoke in their homes. But they see how much better off they are financially because they don’t buy as much firewood.
Their homes are free from smoke, their food is cooked healthier, and the man does not have to spend so much time gathering firewood. This gives him more time to work.
The project also provides an opportunity for the families to interact because from the beginning, we trained them to build the stoves.
The fathers help other households with the construction and in the process of sharing their knowledge, they support other members of the community and live better together.
The plan is to have enough funds to support this initiative so that someday, all families in the CFCA communities of Santa Rosa who need an eco-stove can have one. This should greatly diminish the deforestation problem.
We also hope to incorporate the support of other organizations and institutions to help us supply so many families.