The Windsor Rotary Club has recently become aware that the Windsor High School International Organizations Club has a goal of raising $11,000 for the Maasai Stoves and Solar Project of the International Collaborative for Science, Education, and the Environment. These funds will pay for the training of 10 Maasai women installers and for 100 stoves in Tanzania, Africa.
The stoves improve the lives of the people by removing carbon monoxide from their dwellings. The Maasai currently use an open fire for cooking, which fills their windowless dwellings with smoke and carbon monoxide. The design of the new stoves takes the smoke and carbon monoxide out of the dwelling through the roof. The open fires currently in use are dangerous to small children who can fall into the open flames. The new stoves use less wood, which cuts the time needed to find wood in half. Women in the village are taught to install the stoves and are able to earn money for their families.
According to the Teacher Sponsors of the Club, the goals of the project as far as the students are concerned are as follows -
1.A Spirit of Service to Others
The International Organizations Club was founded with the aim of making the world a better place. Our students are deeply motivated to help those around the world in less developed countries. Their teacher sponsors have found over the years that they just need some help getting involved and they will begin the path of service. It is inspiring to see them learn that just doing a little bit of work can benefit others in amazing ways.
2.The Process of Organizing and Implementing a Large Project
Any large project, whether charitable or not, requires us to break down the project into smaller steps and delegate those steps to members of the group. Students also learn that their part matters, as it contributes to the success of the whole project. They also learn to reach out to members and businesses in the community to pull together and organize resources that teenagers lack in trying to make a difference in the lives of others.
3.Communicating Something You are Passionate About
We hope students will learn how to express their passion for helping others in a way that is well informed. This requires them to understand the problems they wish to solve and the possible solutions available to them. It also helps them learn to articulate their ideas and feelings in a more professional manner.
4.Learning NOT to be Ignorant about the World
Students who grow up in a suburban area like Windsor learn a view of the world that does not represent how most people live. While our students are smart, they do not know what they don't know. In essence, they are ignorant. In order to make the world a better place, we must understand it more. In this project, our students want to expand their horizons as well as the horizons of their peers in the Weld RE4 School District.
The students have built a smaller prototype of the stove on the grounds of the high school and are demonstrating its use to interested parties. They held a STEAM Fair on Saturday, Dec. 4, 2021 which included an talk by CU Professor of Anthropology J. Terrence McCabe who spoke on East African peoples, including the Maasai, and the environmental and economic challenges they face. Robert Lange, founder of the International Collaborative for Science, Education, and the Environment, spoke about the team of Maasai working on the Maasai Stoves and Solar Project. Proceeds from the author talk went toward funding stoves. By the end of the event, the students had raised $2,756.
Two additional fundraising activities are planned for the Spring of 2022. First, they plan to run a "change war" in the World History classes. Teachers encourage their students in this class who are mainly sophomores, to raise money and donate to the jar they have in the class. The class which earns the most money per student wins a donut party (or similar). They will be given several weeks to raise funds. It is called change war because most of the funds tend to be coins. The IOC students will demonstrate the stove to every class to show the students what the money is going to before the fundraising starts. They also plan to create a brochure to give to the students to take home. Second, they plan to run a talent show in April. Students and teachers will demonstrate their talents. During the talent show, they plan to run a silent auction simultaneously with prizes donated by community businesses. A big part of their work in the spring will include finding the items for donations to the auction.
Windsor Rotary Club will assist in promoting the fund-raising efforts of the students on our Facebook page, and at our club meetings. The students in the International Organizations Club will be attending our Club meetings to update us on progress. By speaking at our meetings, they gain valuable public speaking skills.
The Windsor Rotary Club is donating $1000 to the project and will be working with the Interact Club to encourage them to assist their classmates in the International Organizations Club to reach their fund-raising goal. Windsor Rotary Club will provide $500 in additional funds if the Interact Club can raise $500.
We feel this project is a good learning experience for the students and fits in with Rotary's goals. And by raising the funds for the Stoves Project the lives of the Masaai people will be improved.