New Hope After a Cyclone

Ulei school stoveUlei School staff receive the stove facilitated by Dr. Christopher Barlett of the German Aid Organization GIZ, and donated by InStove in memory of Ruth Ross.

In response to a worldwide call to support the Pacific island nation of Vanuatu in its recovery from Cyclone Pam, InStove sent a 60 Liter Stove to Ulei School. What follows is their letter thanking the InStove community for the donation.

Ulei Secondary School, a boarding school on the Island of Efate in the Republic of Vanuatu catering for over 200 students, was badly affected by category 5 Cyclone Pam which struck on the 13th of March 2015. The school was closed for months as buildings were repaired. Upon return to school, another major impact of the cyclone became evident: firewood used to cook meals for the students was available in drastically reduced quantities. Food security was at risk

In response to a call by the Government of Vanuatu to the global community for cyclone recovery assistance, a fuel efficient cook stove was generously donated by InStove, an organization that builds efficient, institutional-sized (60L) cookstoves that reduce demand for fuel wood by 75-90%. InStove is not new to Vanuatu, and has helped the nation with these stoves since 2010.

The management and students of Ulei school were thrilled to receive the donated InStove last week. At Ulei, the InStove aims to become an efficient, solid-fuel burning energy source that reduces carbon emissions, cooking time and wood consumption. Most importantly, the InStove is helping to get the school back to a food secure state.

Before the arrival of the InStove, Ulei School relied solely on open ground fires to cook for its 200 boarding students. Students were required to collect fallen branches and kindling from the bush, which reduced classroom time. Meals were cooked over a large open fire, which emitted a significant amount of smoke, posing a danger to both the kitchen staff and the environment.

On September 10th 2015 a team from SPC-GIZ delivered the donated stove to Ulei School. Teachers and kitchen staff assembled the stove and made a cooking demonstration to train the school’s cooks. School staff members were excited to both reduce their firewood consumption and cut down on cooking times and smoke exposure. They felt that this single stove was the greatest boost to the children’s food security since the cyclone.

Installing stove
Open-fire cooking consumes huge quantities of wood, which the students must gather, cutting into their educational time; the new stove will stretch their fuel 4 to 10 times further.

Deputy Principal Anderson Homu also cited environmental benefits for the community. “Cyclone Pam has demonstrated how fragile our island ecosystem is. Trees are needed to hold soil in place and absorb carbon dioxide. We must work to protect our environment in the face of climate change.”

Ulei School is grateful to InStove for donating a free 60 liter cook stove to help them sustainably provide meals for their students.

This stove was donated by InStove with support from the Good Works Institute and InStove’s donor community. The stove was dedicated in memory of Ruth Ross, an InStove supporter from Eugene who passed away after being struck by a truck while walking home from the YMCA.

Ruth Ross
The stove was dedicated by InStove in memory of Ruth Ross of Eugene.

 

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