To celebrate Earth Day, we wanted to share this report from Ricardo Garcia, project coordinator in Santa Rosa, Honduras. It’s about eco-stoves that help both the environment and the health of our sponsored friends.
In 2008, the Santa Rosa project in Honduras initiated a medical campaign to benefit all the sponsored members and their families.
During the campaign, we learned that many mothers suffered from pulmonary emphysema caused by excessive smoke from cooking food.
Later in 2009, we initiated a reforestation effort because large swaths of trees were being cut in the communities. But the problem wasn’t getting better.
One solution addressed both problems. We decided to build eco-stoves because they use less firewood and they don’t produce smoke in the home.
Getting the program off the ground was difficult because the families were accustomed to seeing lots of smoke in their homes. But they see how much better off they are financially because they don’t buy as much firewood.
Their homes are free from smoke, their food is cooked healthier, and the man does not have to spend so much time gathering firewood. This gives him more time to work.
The project also provides an opportunity for the families to interact because from the beginning, we trained them to build the stoves.
The fathers help other households with the construction and in the process of sharing their knowledge, they support other members of the community and live better together.
The plan is to have enough funds to support this initiative so that someday, all families in the CFCA communities of Santa Rosa who need an eco-stove can have one. This should greatly diminish the deforestation problem.
We also hope to incorporate the support of other organizations and institutions to help us supply so many families.
CFCA sponsored members in Guatemala are undertaking a beautiful initiative to help the environment by planting 1 million trees by the end of 2011.
Right now, if you sign up to pay your sponsorship through our Automatic Payment Plan, sponsored members will plant a tree in your honor.
Printing, postage costs and bank fees continue to increase and currently average 84 cents for each sponsorship payment made by check.
In contrast, the cost for an automatic bank withdrawal is less than 3 cents.
Contributions made through CFCAís Automatic Payment Plan are safe, secure and reduce our costs.
By Malou Navio, Antipolo project coordinator
Project staff and Unbound families in the Antipolo project respond to the call to care for our Mother Earth by caring for our local environment through a program we call Clean and Green.
Clean and Green enhances Unbound sponsorship for our sponsored individuals and their families.
The Antipolo project uses ongoing training, lectures and discussion to incorporate Clean and Green into spirituality and way of life and to encourage families to consider the ecosystem.
As Unbound farming families learn irrigation methods for rice paddies and corn growing, more and more are gradually shifting away from the kaingin (slash and burn) way of farming. The families in urban areas promote waste management by reducing, reusing and recycling.
To reinforce this practice, we do not use disposable cups, plates or utensils; plastic wrappers; straws; and Styrofoam during our activities.
Our sponsored children, youth, their parents and the aging in kapitbahayans (small, caring communities) devote one to two hours every Saturday morning to cleaning up their surroundings, streets, canals and rivers. This contributes to disaster risk reduction.
Kapitbahayans grow plants and flowers in easement lots and open spaces to improve their communities. They cultivate these spaces for communal gardens of vegetables and medicinal plants. They can also share the harvest with neighbors.
A tree-planting activity takes place yearly. Most families plant the seeds from the fruits they eat. Many sponsored aging friends love this activity.
Though they say they may not witness the fruition of the trees they have planted, for them it is their gesture toward repaying the food they eat without the effort of growing it.
We have planted and nurtured thousands of trees. The ages of these trees range from younger than one year to more than 10 years old.
They are growing in backyards, along the roads, rivers, in the parks, open spaces, foothills, watershed and shores in the communities served by our three subprojects.
Fifteen sponsored youth leaders with parent advisers are graduates of a comprehensive training on holistic environmental education. This training discussed inner- and outer-ecology, and cosmic ecology.
They also learned about the making of bokashi balls (click here to read more about bokashi balls), an indigenous technology of effective micro-organisms that eliminates harmful bacteria from fresh waters. They facilitate the same training on weekends with the sponsored youth, children, mothers and fathers group leaders.
The Earth Day celebration is one of the most important events of the year for us.
This year, the families will celebrate Earth Day with a parade around the town or barangays (neighborhoods), and then they will watch a film and attend workshops on environmental concerns and climate change.
The fathers group, with Unbound families in the communities of Angono, will celebrate Earth Day with a parade around the town and will launch their commitment and initiatives to heal the dying Angono River. They made 14,000 bokashi balls to drop into the Angono River to help heal the river and its species.
In our little way, we can radiate to each other, to the children, youth, aging and families, our dedication to care for the environment and our special love for Mother Earth.
Happy Earth Day!
Join the discussion about global poverty on Wednesday, Oct. 15, 2008.
We know that people in the blogosphere can learn so much through your CFCA sponsor experiences: what it’s like to join with families living in poverty; telling about how your own view of poverty has changed through your sponsorship, and how poverty now has a personal meaning for you.
|Blog Action Day ’08 gives bloggers around the world a chance to focus one day Wednesday, Oct. 15 – on one topic – poverty.|
Blog Action Day ’08 gives bloggers around the world a chance to focus one day Wednesday, Oct. 15 – on one topic – poverty.
Here’s how the Blog Action Day Web site describes it:
“Blog Action Day is an annual nonprofit event that aims to unite the world’s bloggers, podcasters and videocasters, to post about the same issue on the same day. Our aim is to raise awareness and trigger a global discussion.”
To be a part of the event:
- Register your blog on the blog action day site (blogactionday.com) between now and Oct. 14.
- Start preparing your blog message based on your experiences as a CFCA sponsor.
(e-mail us if you have questions)
- Post your blog entry on Oct. 15.
At the end of your blog post, please feel free to include the following description of CFCA:
CFCA is a Kansas City-based international movement serving people living in poverty in 25 developing countries. We help families put food on the table, send their children to school and have a decent place to live so that together we can end the cycle of poverty. Founded by lay Catholics acting on the call to serve the poor, CFCA serves people of all faiths. To learn more, or to sponsor a child, visit www.cfcausa.org.
If you don’t have a blog, but would like to start one to post your message about poverty, here are a few blog sites that make it quick and easy:
Thank you for joining CFCA and sharing your personal story to help the world gain a better understanding of poverty and ways to help.