Each hour is precious for 30-year-old Aragash. Every day, she scrapes together the food she needs to feed her three sons. Twice a day, she toils outside collecting wood for her cooking fire. She could be using that precious time to pull weeds in her garden, care for livestock, or visit with a neighbour. But her day-to-day reality is basic survival, and she’s stuck.
If only there were more hours in a day. If only there was something she could do to save time.
After hearing about capacity building workshops held in the community, Aragash decided to make the time to join one. The workshops had kick-started many opportunities for others in the community. Maybe they could help somehow.
Food for the Hungry staff held these workshops. At one point, they trained Aragash on how to build a fuel-efficient stove. The stove they built is a mud stove with a fire enclosed. It traps in heat, the wood burns slowly, and the contained heat is ideal for cooking food.
Best of all, it burns through only a fraction of the wood Aragash collects.
“Before, I used to collect firewood from a far distance. Twice a day,” she explains. “As I used a traditional way of cooking with [an open] fire, it consumed a large amount of wood every day.” She now makes less trips to find wood, which leaves her with more time and energy every day.
Her house is also less smoky now. “Smoke was one of the problems my family used to face when cooking. We used to suffer from health problems, from breathing problems, and burning hair and skin.”
It’s a simple change, but one that gives back time, energy and health to the family. It’s another small step towards ending poverty.
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