Taken from http://www.prlog.org - PRLog (Press Release) – Jan 25, 2011

Eugene, OR – StoveTeam International was awarded by the EPA’s Partnership for Clean Indoor Air one of the top awards for fuel-efficient stove projects, the “Special Achievement Award in Developing Local Markets".

Over the past three years, StoveTeam International has started stove factories in four countries, which have sold and distributed more than 12,000 stoves, improving the lives of over 90,000 people.

In 2004, StoveTeam founder Nancy Hughes, recently widowed and age 61, traveled to Guatemala with a medical team. There she met a young Mayan woman named Irma whose hands had been burned shut at the age of two. Irma had been waiting sixteen years for surgery.

Hughes also saw babies whose throats were choked so bad with creosote that the doctors couldn't save them. It is now recognized by the World Health Organization that more than two million premature deaths per year are caused by smoke from open fire cooking. One of the top four health risks in the developing world, it causes twice as many deaths as malaria. Hughes also witnessed countless hernias from collecting wood, and the effects of deforestation.

When Hughes left Guatemala, she noticed the long line outside the medical clinic, and she realized that there wouldn't be another surgical team arriving for a year. She wanted to address the cause of the problem knowing that cures were impossible unless the source of the problem was addressed.

By 2008 she had found and tested a solution, and with a grant from Rotary International, she started StoveTeam and developed the Ecocina, a portable, affordable, safe cookstove. She realized that to grow, they would need to find local entrepreneurs willing to start self-sustainable factories to produce the stoves. By using local labor and materials they were helping solve another problem…unemployment.

In 2009, Rotary International recognized her work, and, as one of only 100 people in the world, she received the Rotary "Service Above Self Award" for her accomplishments. In January 2011, Hughes was awarded the Whitman College Alumnus of Merit Award for recognizing the health issues associated with open-fire cooking, developing the Ecocina stove, and the founding StoveTeam International.

Her work is not finished, as this year StoveTeam is helping to establish factories in Mexico, Ghana and Kenya. At 68, she feels that she has many more productive years to spread the StoveTeam International initiative around the world.

See the original article here

For further information contact:
Sanya Detweiler, <a href="mailto:sanya@stoveteam.org">sanya@stoveteam.org</a> , (541) 554-4638

StoveTeam International promotes the use of safe, affordable, fuel-efficient stoves by helping start locally owned factories.