This week, CREATE!’s Senegal team hosted visitors from Vibrant Village Foundation’s programs in northern Ghana. Lenny Baer, Ghana Program Director, and his colleague Phillip, toured CREATE!’s partner villages to learn more about our integrated, community-based development programs in rural Senegal.
In addition to visiting several cooperative garden sites, Lenny and Phillip participated in an improved cookstove training in CREATE!’s new partner community of Back Samba Dior. CREATE! field technicians taught women in Back Samba Dior how to build their own improved cookstoves almost two years ago. Improved cookstoves are the centerpiece of CREATE!’s sustainable development programs in Senegal and cookstove trainings are always our initial intervention in rural communities. CREATE! gauges potential partners’ commitment to our participatory approach by returning one month after the training to determine how many women in the community have built their own improved cookstoves. We prioritize villages – like Back Samba Dior – with high rates of cookstove adoption for future partnership. All women in Back Samba Dior are now expert cookstove builders and are eager to share their knowledge with others!
CREATE!’s fuel-efficient improved stoves use up to 70 percent less firewood than traditional open fires. Thanks to improved cookstoves, women and girls no longer need to walk long distances to collect firewood for cooking, thereby freeing time, reducing labor, and increasing the likelihood that girls will be able to remain in school. For families that buy firewood, the use of improved cookstoves reduces household expenses because firewood lasts three times as long. Cookstoves also have numerous health benefits – they burn cleaner than open fires and cook meals thoroughly, thus lowering the risk of disease.
Lenny and Phillip are excited to bring CREATE!’s model improved cookstove technology to their partner communities in rural northern Ghana.