Save-a-Life Cooking Stoves

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Save-a-Life Cooking Stoves

Central African Republic
Organization type: 
nonprofit/ngo/citizen sector
$100,000 - $250,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

In Africa, 50% of the household income is spent on wood for open fire cooking producing toxic smoke.
We will ship an award-winning cookstove that burns 25% of wood, has no toxic fumes, and saves money buying wood.
This reduces respiratory illnesses, saves on wood, reduces levels of toxic smoke.

About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

Orphan caregivers are spending up to 50% of their income buying necessary firewood, the amount of available firewood is decreasing (driving up the cost), and the orphans are suffering bronchial and respiritory distress due to the toxic fumes and smoke they must inhale.
About You
Food for Orphans
Visit website
Section 1: About You
First Name


Last Name



Food for Orphans

Section 2: About Your Organization
Organization Name

Food for Orphans

Organization Phone


Organization Address

PO Box 26123: Colorado Springs, CO 80936

Organization Country
Your idea
Country your work focuses on
What makes your idea unique?

No one in Central African Republic is using a stove like this. They cook over open fires, spend most of their income on wood, and suffer the consequences neddlessly. This technology was designed by another organization. The stoves are extremely durable and will last for decades. Providing these stoves will improve the nutrition of the orphans, by providing them a safe alternative to an open fire. This is an improvment over their traditionally unsafe and impractical way of cooking. This improves their nutrition by providing options on what is cooked and how. A child that is suffering a respiratory illness from the smoke of an open fire or is exhausted from walking 8 miles to obtain wood will greatly benefit from these stoves.

Do you have a patent for this idea?

What impact have you had?

Food for Orphans is currently feeding orphans in South America, Africa, the Caribbean, and Southeast Asia.


Provide each orphan host family with an award-winning pre-fabricated cook stove.


Lives will be saved, disease will be reduced, trees and forests will be saved, and more income will be spent on food and medicine.

What will it take for your project to be successful over the next three years? Please address each year separately, if possible.

2010: Purchase the stoves, ship them and distribute them.
2011: Measure the impact of the stoves on the econmy and overall general health of the villagers and the orphans.
2012: Arrange for the purchase and shipment of another container of stoves.

What would prevent your project from being a success?

Inability to purchase a full container of stoves, thereby reducing the benefits proportionately.

How many people will your project serve annually?

More than 10,000

What is the average monthly household income in your target community, in US Dollars?

Less than $50

Does your project seek to have an impact on public policy?


What stage is your project in?

Operating for 1‐5 years

In what country?
Is your initiative connected to an established organization?


If yes, provide organization name.

Food for Orphans

How long has this organization been operating?

1‐5 years

Does your organization have a Board of Directors or an Advisory Board?


Does your organization have any non-monetary partnerships with NGOs?


Does your organization have any non-monetary partnerships with businesses?


Does your organization have any non-monetary partnerships with government?


Please tell us more about how these partnerships are critical to the success of your innovation.

Our partnerships with NGO's will provide Food for Orphans with management on-the-ground in Central African Republic. They will also arrange for the storage, distribution, and follow-up for the successof the project.

What are the three most important actions needed to grow your initiative or organization?

1. Arrange for the necessary funding of the purchase and shipment of the stoves.
2. The actual shipping of the stoves
3. The necessary storage during distribution.

The Story
What was the defining moment that led you to this innovation?

Learning that orphans were getting sick and dying because of the toxic fumes from the open cooking fires.

Tell us about the social innovator behind this idea.

Gary VanDyke, Food for Orphans' founder and CEO, began helping orphans in 1999. As the father of five, Gary has always had a heart for the needs of children. But in 1999, he visited several children's projects in Lima, Peru and as he tells it, "To watch the pain of these children's suffering was impossible for me to bear. My life was changed forever."

Gary worked with an international charity that works with needy children and orphans around the world. While there, Gary visited the international projects, evaluated their needs, helped to train the staff, and communicated the children's needs to people back home. As he visited more and more orphans, Gary was touched by their helplessness and innocence. He was constantly wounded by the poor health and physical condition of the orphans he met. When asked what their biggest challenge was, orphan caregivers repeatedly said "The lack of food."

Gary knew that he could not continue to stand immobile while orphans starved. Knowing that something had to be done, he began to create an organization that would address the orphans most pressing and urgent need … food.

How did you first hear about Changemakers?

Friend or family member

If through another, please provide the name of the organization or company