Many of the world's poor, including many Friendship Bridge clients in Guatemala, cook over open fires inside their homes, which creates toxic fumes that cause debilitating health problems such as eye and throat irritation and headaches. In 2010, there were over 5,000 deaths in Guatemala due to household air pollution. These open fires can also lead to burns, as well as back pain from bending over the fire every day.
Additionally, these open fires are inefficient and require a constant supply of firewood for fuel. Women in rural areas in Guatemala nearly 2 hours each day collecting wood for fuel, which is an extremely difficult task. Spending so much time collecting wood for fuel means women spend less time in income-generating activities and less time with their families.
The solutions we’re proposing
Affordable, efficient cookstoves can eliminate these health risks and create time and financial savings for women entrepreneurs in Guatemala.
Friendship Bridge's Microcredit Plus program offers an opportunity for women entrepreneurs in Guatemala to invest in clean burning stoves that reduce health problems and increase savings. Clients who invest in these clean-burning stoves spend less time collecting firewood for fuel, which allows them to spend more time working in their businesses and more time with their families.
With a new, efficient cookstove, women save $37 (or a 72% savings) in fuel expenditures each month. They see a 100% reduction in headaches and 75% reduction in throat pain due to smoke inhalation. Women and their children also experience fewer burns because they are no longer cooking over open flames inside their homes. Becuase their health has improved, women miss fewer days of work and their children miss fewer days of school, creating long-term benefits for the family.
The impact of your giving
YOU can eliminate poverty, improve health, and empower a women by helping a woman purchase a clean burning cookstove. Because of your gift, a woman and her family's lives will be changed forever!
*Photos courtesy of Global Partnerships