Letter from the Executive Director

Earlier this month, I visited our projects in Darfur. During my three-week trip, I spent countless hours with women who, for the past six months, have cooked each day with the Berkeley-Darfur Stove. These women - Zakia, Atima, Hawa, Mariam, and many others - told me how their stove saves them time and money, and is less smoky than cooking over a three-stone fire. They are able to feed their family more and take some much-needed rest in their daily struggle.

I also spent several days working with our partners, Oxfam America and Sustainable Action Group, to analyze data we collected in our surveys of stove users. We looked at the responses of 100 women in January 2010, right before they received their Berkeley-Darfur Stove, and compared them with responses of the same women six months later. These surveys allow us to understand the collective impact of our stoves. Here are some of the changes we found:
  • Women report an average reduction in firewood expenses of 66%
  • Half of the women who were collecting firewood are now able to afford the smaller amount they need and have ceased venturing into unsafe areas for wood
  • Before receiving the stove, 80% of the women were concerned about their exposure to smoke during cooking. Six months after receiving the Berkeley-Darfur Stove, this number dropped to 28%.

These women need our support so they can provide food to their families in a safer, healthier, and less environmentally damaging way. Please help us to help more women in Darfur by making a tax-deductible donation today here

In solidarity,

Andree Sosler

Meet Hawa

Hawa Abakar lives in a small thatched house in the town of El Fasher, North Darfur. Hawa supports herself and her seven children by working as a day laborer, doing jobs such as washing people's clothes. She received a Berkeley-Darfur Stove in July and has cooked with it every day since then. Hawa likes her Berkeley-Darfur Stove because it saves her time and money, and she can use it to cook all of the traditional meals of Darfur. Over the course of a year, Hawa's stove, which costs $20 to make, will save her more than $200 in firewood expenses. Hawa says she uses the money she has saved on firewood to purchase items such as water, soap, oil and grain. Before, when Hawa cooked a porridge called assidah over the traditional three-stone fire, it would take 45 minutes for the meal to be ready. With her Berkeley-Darfur Stove, the same meal is ready in 10 minutes. Hawa told us, "because I can cook my family's breakfast more quickly, I leave home earlier each morning in search of work, and I have more success finding a job for the day."

Please remember Hawa as you gather around the table with family and friends this Thanksgiving. You can ease the hardships of more women like Hawa by making a tax-deductible donation today.

Further information

DSP will be hosting a fundraising event in San Francisco in February 2011. Stay tuned for more information about this opportunity to learn more about Darfur Stoves Project's work and to help us support more women in Darfur. Find us on Facebook.

Darfur Stoves Project
2150 Allston Way, Suite 300
Berkeley, CA 94704