Help Guatemalans Breathe Easier
Emory Helps Guatemala is seeking to raise $5,850 to help Guatemalan families have safer homes with ventilated household stoves; a preventative measure that will alleviate persistent health problems which are the result of indoor, open fires commonly used for cooking.
About Emory Helps Guatemala (EHG)
EHG was founded in 2019 as a branch of Health and Development in Guatemala with a mission to create sustainable impact for Guatemalan communities through both the healthcare that patients receive, and through educational programs that teach them how to live a healthier lifestyle.
In addition to the educational and public health support we hope to provide, we invite doctors to travel to Guatemala to provide free consults and develop treatment plans that are culturally appropriate based on available resources. Thus, families are equipped with the tools to improve their overall wellbeing and any acute issues that exist get addressed as well.
One major issue Helps International encountered is widespread health problems caused by open-fire smoke inhalation—according to the World Health Organization, excessive smoke inhalation is the leading cause of death in Guatemalan children under the age of five.
The solution is simple: installing ventilated household stoves, like the ONIL cookstove.
Why are Ventilated Household Stoves Important?
Many families in rural Guatemala prepare their meals over an indoor, open fire in their homes. For families who live in one-room houses, smoke from the fire is ever present—next to where they sleep, play, live, and breathe. Since homes generally have minimal ventilation, families are at risk for a variety of health concerns; eye problems, and respiratory illnesses due to smoke inhalation, as well as burns and injury from accidents—especially with children playing near the cooking space—are commonplace.
Those who handle the cooking—mostly women—often develop serious vision problems such as cataracts. Small children are typically carried on their mothers’ backs throughout the day and are constantly inhaling smoke—and potentially toxic fumes—from the open fire.
Ventilated household stoves reduce exposure to smoke which exits via a chimney through the roof of the home. They are also safer for children, as the flames are contained by the stove itself, reducing the threat of burns.
Additionally, ventilated household stoves are more fuel-efficient, allowing families to lower fuel costs while also preserving resources, which contributes to sustainability. ONIL energy-efficient, clean-burning cook stoves save one tree per month for each family. Reducing firewood consumption by about two-thirds makes a dramatic, positive financial impact on the environment, as well as on family budgets.
EHG is seeking $5,850 so we can help 20 rural Guatemalan families breathe easier! However, we ultimately hope to raise double that amount, $11,700, so we can install stoves for 40 families, as well as provide them with water filters. The cost of this is $250 per home. Additionally, we want to be able to install an industrial-sized oven and eight water filters in an under-served rural school in the area we will be working in.
Donations to this Momentum page go to Emory Hillel which holds the account for Emory Helps Guatemala.