New cookstoves, better health
Improving cookstoves has made it safer to cook indoors in Finagrain, Paraguay
FINAGRAIN, Paraguay — Preparing food with stoves that produced harmful smoke, endangered pregnant women and caused vision and respiratory problems was not unusual in Finagrain, Paraguay, until Christian Children’s Fund of Canada (CCFC) stepped in, constructing 40 cookstoves in the local area as part of our Community Rise program.
The stoves have been installed in 37 homes, two schools and the local health post. At the health post, the nurse can now give classes in healthy cooking. More than 730 children and adults in the low-income, rural community are benefiting from the gift.
It’s been a huge improvement. In the past, the stoves were built on the ground, food was exposed to contamination from dust and small animals looking for food. There was also the danger of small children tripping and falling into the fire. Now, the new stoves are off the floor and smoke is directed outside, reducing health risks. What’s more, firewood consumption is reduced and several dishes can be prepared at once, making it possible to incorporate healthier options into a family’s diet.
The community is enthused about the project — not only did mothers participate in training, but youth also volunteered their time to build the cookstoves, which were completed earlier than expected.
Thanks to the monthly support of Community Rise donors, families now have a clean and safe space where they can cook and gather for meals.
Before/after: Original cookstoves in Finagrain, Paraguay (above, left) posed a health risk to children and adults, as food was cooked on the ground; the new stoves (above, right) are elevated and contain “burners” to accommodate different size pots