We are currently working on our annual report for the Charities Advisory Trust documenting the progress of a number of projects funded through their Good Gifts Catalogue, which provides an opportunity to reflect on the impact of that work over the past year which is enabling survivors to become more independent and self-sufficient.
The parabolic solar reflector is the first of its kind in Rwanda, and has been imported following a field visit undertaken by the SURF team to Kenya in July 2013. The cooker is delivering quicker cooking time, at no cost. So survivors are saving time and money having to collect and buy firewood. As well, there are no noxious fumes any longer, and so it is healthier too. And there is no need to constantly tend the stove, except to rotate it between cooking times to ensure the greatest intensity of the sun’s reflection. It is a great gift.
On the study tour, the SURF team also learnt about the LifeStraw water purifying unit, and we were the first organisation to import them to Rwanda. The units filter out bacteria, parasites and viruses from almost any kind of water. So when the local well runs dry, survivors can even use run-off water with no fear of the illnesses that often affected them previously. They also save money, as they can collect and filter their own water, without having to pay for it. It makes for another great gift.
Over the past year, the development of these two new projects – to distribute solar cookers as well as water filtration units to households of survivors, have transformed the lives of hundreds of survivors which have participated in those pilots. Both projects not only are helping survivors to save money, but also enabling them to live healthier, as well as contributing to a better environment. Good Gifts make great gifts!