|Stove Donated to FFF client in 2010 (photo credit: Shawn Packard)|
The fact that Maria had this stove means that she is better off than millions of women in the mountains of Guatemala.
When visiting the women in our program, we do home assessments with a check list in hand, marking off the items that tells us a particular mother has her basic needs met, most likely from donations from FFF. The list looks like this:
- Concrete floor
- Pilia (Guatemalan outdoor sink)
- Table, Wooden Chairs
- Intact roof
Of everything on the list, the stove is the most important; without one, our clients cook like Juana (below) used to: on an open fuel inefficient fire, while breathing noxious smoke while toddlers linger nearby, at risk for falling into the fire.
|Juana, cooking on open fire before her stove donation.|
|Petrona, with firewood at home|
The wood required for open source cooking creates hours of hard labor weekly for Guatemalan women. Chopping; hauling; stacking; splitting. When we ask the women in our program what their biggest need is, firewood and a stove are one of the first things they mention. Stove donations reduce the need for firewood by almost 80%.
In other words, a stove is not just a stove in Central America. It is a labor saving device, it is eco-friendly, a health prevention tool and it is often the only kitchen appliance a rural indigenous woman has in her possession.
And possibly the most important.