Community Building Eco-Stoves

  • Health
  • Environment
  • Panama
This project is led by Eric Ayala, a Volunteer from California

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This project aims to provide community and capacity building, along with environmental awareness, and community leadership. Through this project the community developed an ecological group with an executive team. This group meets monthly to create, plan, and implement events that help raise funds that the group can use for future activities. The sustainability aspect comes into play here because this project aims to teach the community how to organize themselves. They learn how to create a leadership team, pitch an idea, create a plan, and hold meetings where they all share and divide responsibilities and tasks, and then make the event or activity happen thus, giving the community the tools they would need for future group or projects. They are also working with the local environmental agency to help develop the stoves which then allows the community to benefit from local resources that they have. This community group has already showed success through their first two small events where they fundraised $300. The impact that this project has created so far is that the community has developed organizational skills as well as problem solving skills.

A community meeting was held August 8th where folks in that meeting voted for our three main initial projects. Eco-stoves were one of the three projects that were voted for and on Oct 1st we held our first eco-Stove meeting. During that meeting members voted on having an executive board who would take charge of this project. This group so far have been the ones who propose event, fundraisers, and all other activities. The group has also been equally dividing tasks and responsibilities before and during the event. As part of the requirements, members of the groups are required to attend two environmental presentations and three environmental activities that the volunteer will host. The reason for this is that the group really wanted to make sure that environmental topics were addressed in order to help build environmental consciousness.

Once the material support is over what stays in the community is the stoves but also the eco-group that is being taught about the social and environmental impacts that climate change is bringing to the world and the ways that they can help. Because of this project, the community has created their first ecological group. This group's purpose is to help the community develop environmental projects that everyone can benefit from. Through this process everyone who is involved is learning new ways to organize, how to set-up meetings, create agendas, copy down notes and important points, and how to efficiently ask questions or bring up concerns. Group members are also learning important hands-on construction skills that they can continue to practice.

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