Thursday, June 11, 2009

Guatemalan Cultural Action (ACG), Healthy Stove Project

On May 2002 a group of doctors from the United States spent one week making house visits in ACG's communities. A total of 250 community members were examined. At week's end, the doctors informed ACG that their findings included eye infections, respiratory problems, constant headaches, burns, chronic fatigue, etcetera. Such findings were the result of smoke inside the families' homes on a daily basis, created by floor or raised cooking fires without chimneys. While men tended to the agricultural sphere of labor outdoors, it was apparent that women, girls, and small children were the most effected. ACG evaluated the doctors' findings and were determined to begin a healthy stove initiative.

ACG also found that the new stoves burn a third less firewood. So there is a reduction in the amount of trees cut needed to burn for fires in the home. Ecologists have determined that a group of 500 people need a total of one square kilometer of forest in order to meet their annual usage of firewood. The average annual consumption of firewood for one family is between 600-900 kilograms. A healthy stove reduces this amount by two thirds. (The Sphere Project, Humanitarian Charter and Minimum Standards in Disaster Response, Oxfam, p. 208)

Here's what you can do! Help ACG build stoves for over 1500 families still on a waiting list. Support the work of Illinois Maya Ministries. Make a difference today on your own, with your family, with your church, and help a family breathe easier. You can do this by: Making a special gift of $300 to cover the cost of a healthy stove. Write a check to the Illinois Conference UCC with an important memo indicating: Illinois Maya Ministry, Healthy Stoves.

Please send to: Illinois Maya Ministry; Illinois Conference UCC; 1840 Westchester Blvd, #200; We
stchester, IL 60154.

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