Betty’s story is a living example of community and self-actualization. She became a single mother of seven after the 10-year war in Northern Uganda claimed thousands of lives, including those of her husband and close family members. As a seamstress in the rural North, Betty could barely cover the costs of charcoal to feed her family, let alone pay their school fees.
Lifeline stepped in as a partner to design and produce one of the most invaluable resources for communities like Betty’s: fuel-efficient cookstoves. Lifeline designs and produces these fuel-efficient cookstoves to tie two of our most intimately linked resources — fire and water — and also helps communities navigate the act of cooking, a fundamental aspect of this lived experience.
Introducing unknown technology requires skills well beyond a technical point of view. Humans are the only species on this planet who cook our food. So it’s no wonder that over two billion people still use firewood or charcoal to build the fire that sustains their lives. Unfortunately, this reliance on woodfuels is killing us. Deforestation, sickness and death from household air pollution, abuse from firewood collection and loss of valuable daylight hours are just a few examples of the burdens trapping billions in a cycle of poverty.
Our approach involves:
- Teaching the fundamental details of cooking – from cuisine type, to pot size, to traditional culinary habits – that together inform the design process of our stove technology
- Designing the market entry and distribution approaches to introduce the technology to post-conflict and developing communities; and
- Evaluating the “user” centric experiences to build a trusted feedback loop that we use to translate the reality of our successes AND failures into further action.
Since partnering with Lifeline, Betty has become one of the most successful stove vendors in her community. And Betty’s success is one we need to act further on, for humanity’s sake.
Fuel Saving Cookstoves Can Change Lives!
623,000 Ugandan lives have been impacted by Lifeline’s fuel saving stoves. Here is CC’s story on the difference the Eco-Smart Stoves have made in her community.