In the last two months I have been contacted by two organizations about the stoves. Usually I’m contacted to schedule a training session for a village or some other type of request where I have to go and physically participate in a project. But these, along with others as of late, were different.
The first one was a Jesuit mission I have worked with off and on over the last five years. Centro de Capacitación y Formación Nuestra Señora del Camino in San Félix, Chiriquí, República de Panamá is the most organized mission I’ve ever seen. Padre Adonai Cortes is an amazing visionary and leader who is involved with not just the Indigenous but with everyone he comes into contact. A few weeks ago I was contact and asked to come down to the mission. When I got there I was taken to a site where they were making bricks with a press they had shipped here from South Africa. They told me they could make enough bricks in one day using this press to build everyone a stove the next day. Two days and everyone in a village has a stove. They are excited about the prospects to better the lives of so many and the effectiveness of the stoves and now their efficiency in building them. It’s quite remarkable actually. They took the stove building to a new level.
The second was a government organization here in Panama. La Autoridad Nacional del Ambiente is the organization responsible for safeguarding the environment here in Panama. The Peace Corps here in Panama has been working with them on teaching communities the benefits of the stoves and now they have gone off on their own training towns and villages all over. The director, Laurda, was excited to see me and show me pictures of all the stoves they have made in villages.
They are still using the stove molds (Bliss Burner) model. The reason CS moved away from this model was due to the need (dependency) of an outside entity to provide the mold. In contrast, using the Tower Stove communities need nothing other than knowledge to create their solution to the problem. However, in this context, the government will continue to produce the molds and make it part of their work in the communities to save the environment. So the Bliss Burner has found a home and is alive and well.
In both cases these stoves are easy to build and greatly reduce the smoke and wood fuel use which makes them desirable to communities. The cost is only their time and effort so this is a solution that works well. While our stoves are just two models of smokeless stoves in the world, and not the most efficient in that long list, our stoves are accessible to those who need it and independent of outside resource needs. Simply put, our stove approach empowers, rebuilds dignity and move communities down the path of progressive community development from the inside out. And we are proud to be a small part in that sustainable endeavor.