Spend Yourself: The Cookstoves

Hi, all.
Last week I spent a little time talking about our ministry and why we chose the tag line: Spend Yourself. You can read all about it on Spend Yourself: The Generator. Suffice it to say, in the next few weeks I'm going to highlight some very specific ways that you can help us out financially. Of course, we always covet your prayers, and we love the many other ways that our supporters and friends uplift our ministry, but we are also facing some very exciting opportunities that require a little fundraising. Today, the focus is the cookstoves.

We are super-excited at OBOH to be a part of a new, cutting-edge project that is distributing bio-safe, fuel efficient cookstoves to families in the community surrounding Christ Our Hope orphanage. Want to know more about the project? You can read more about it in the Cookstoves post. However, I'm going to turn it over to Peter Gbelia SJEDI Green Energy to explain the project in detail...

The stoves cost $60, but we give a family a stove for $30 and 3 months to pay it off, so $10 per month (or more time if needed). We found the average cost to a family is $20 per month for charcoal fuel costs and this stove will save them 50% or $10 per month on average ($120 per year), not to mention saving on the other costs like not having to buy the local stove every few months because our charcoal stove lasts 5 years.

The "community" formed a community bank account with our partner EcoBankor LBDI. Then 3 women project leaders were chosen by the community to run the program (and receive compensation). Every month the families with stoves give the leaders their payment and the leaders deposit into the community bank account. After the stoves are paid for, some communities agree to take part of the monthly savings and deposit into the community account to build assets to run community projects (because each family saves $10 per month, maybe they agree to contribute 50 cents or $1 dollar per month to the community fund, etc). Or payments can be made in LD if it is easier, which is usually the case.

We call this the "micro-lease" program, so the chosen families get the stove right away and use the fuel savings to pay back the cost (of the subsidized cost hopefully), and its been a proven poverty alleviation program.

Once the students master making "green charcoal" from things like corn and rice husks or saw dust, etc., they can then sell this green charcoal to users of the cookstove for increased efficiencies and savings and a good little revenue stream for the orphanage, and of course it ties into the research the students will be conducting. Now they can learn about entrepreneurship as well, which SJEDI will gladly mentor them on.

Sounds like an amazing project, doesn't it? Wondering where you come in? Well, did you catch that very first sentence? The stoves cost $60, but we give a family a stove for $30 and 3 months to pay it off... The math doesn't work, does it? That's because we're subsidizing half of the cost of the cookstove to make the purchase attainable for the average Liberian. So, do you love to cook? Are you grateful for your oven? Are you passionate about healthy living and taking care of the beautiful world we call home? We'd love to have you come alongside us and subsidize the purchase of a stove for a Liberian family. Just $30 will put a stove in the home of a family just like yours. Donate today.