CREATE! sometimes collaborates with other nonprofits working in rural Senegal. Andando, a nonprofit also based in Oregon, is working in the community of Keur Soce to address issues of water and food insecurity and childhood education. Andando’s mission is to alleviate poverty through micro-development strategies. Both CREATE! and Andando are recipients of grants from Vibrant Village Foundation, a Portland-based organization that invests in the potential of communities around the world. CREATE! is excited to continue to build relationships and forge new partnerships with both Andando and Vibrant Village Foundation.
CREATE! field technicians visited the community of Keur Soce last year and noticed that women were cooking lunch for children attending the primary school using large pots on open fires. Our staff thought that by teaching women in Keur Soce to build improved cookstoves, residents would increase the efficiency and safety of the fires used to cook as part of their school feeding program.
In January, CREATE! field staff traveled to Keur Soce, located about 60 kilometers from CREATE!’s office in Gossas, to lead a cookstove training session. Nearly 100 women participated in the training and learned how to build a clay-sand improved cookstove. Together, participants constructed an industrial-sized cookstove for use in the Keur Soce Primary School as part of Andando’s school nutrition program. Andando reports that the women were “very excited to take this new knowledge home and create a cookstove for themselves.”
With training, women can build improved cookstoves using free, locally available ingredients like dried grass, sand, clay, and water. Using an improved cookstove can reduce firewood consumption by 50 to 70 percent, saving women both time and money. Because improved cookstoves use less firewood, women and girls no longer have to spend as long searching for suitable wood for cooking. Families who may have kept daughters home to help with this task can now send their girls to school. Improved cookstoves also reduce deforestation and are safer than open fires because they reduce smoke and reduce the risk of fire and burns.