Meet seven-year-old Zunela. She lives with her mother and father in the rural Toro Toro municipality of Bolivia.
Every day, Zunela travels 2 hours on foot to get to school. On her way to school, she and her classmates must take valuable time away from their education to gather wood. While lunch cooks on an open fire, Zunela studies in the smoky, toxic classroom. Once she finishes her day, she travels another 2 hours home. Zunela must wake up the next day to repeat this dangerous cycle.
In Toro Toro, people have cooked the same way for hundreds of years: on a traditional, wood-burning stove called the k’oncha. Roughly 95% of the population uses these stoves for cooking and boiling water.
K’oncha stoves produce large quantities of smoke, which enters the eyes and lungs of the women and children – like Zunela – who stay by the stoves for much of each day. As a result, respiratory infections are especially common in Toro Toro. K’oncha cooking also has an unacceptably high burn risk and carbon emission rate. Furthermore, the stoves require residents of Toro Toro to spend backbreaking hours collecting firewood from the surrounding forest, accelerating deforestation and erosion.
Your support is crucial to equip Zunela, her parents, and 1600 students like her with the tools to break this harmful cycle. Your donations will allow the CEDESOL Foundation to install clean cookstoves in 11 Toro Toro schools and 7 internados (schools where children who must travel especially far stay overnight for each week).
Compared to traditional methods, CEDESOL’s rocket stoves cook faster, lower the risk of burns, and use up to 75% less wood. In addition, the new stove greatly reduces smoke and carbon emissions. Your support will help educate Zunela and her community on stove use as well as sustainability, health, and nutrition.
With your help, Zunela and her schoolmates will breathe cleaner air, have more time to learn, and live in closer harmony with the land. Toro Toro schools will become models of sustainability in their communities, transforming rural Bolivia beyond the classroom. Donate today to the project "Stoves for Students: The Toro Toro Project" at Generosity.com.
Posted July 2016
Amanda Farnan & Evan Morgan