An Evolving Technology Regimen in Combating ALRI and Perinatal Mortality in Haiti and the DR
This project also has a Changeshop where you can read more about its latest progress.
Go to Changeshop: An Evolving Technology Regimen in Combating ALRI and Perinatal Mortality in Haiti and the DR.
Creating / implementing a medical regimen, including technological, cultural and behavioral interventions to combat ALRI and stillbirth in developing countries.
About Your Organization
El Fuego del Sol
Dominican Republic, PD
Country where this project is creating social impact
Is your organization a
How long has your organization been operating?
More than 5 years
Has the organization received awards or honors? Please tell us about them
Fuego del Sol repeatedly has been featured on Chicago Public Radio’s “Worldview” Global Activism Series. The project has presented for four consecutive years in the Global Activism Expo. In both 2010 and 2011, Kevin Adair was selected as a Featured Speaker at the Expo Event where he detailed the El Fuego del Sol project. El Fuego del Sol has participated in the GeoTourism challenge since its inception in 2008. In 2009, we were chosen as the Featured Entry in that competition. In 2010, FdS participated in the National Geographic Geotourism Summit in Washington, D.C. The project has been featured in newspapers, television and magazines, including Conscious Choice and Revista Punta Cana. The project will be the featured presentation in the December 2011 Chicago Torch Club monthly gathering. In 2011 FdS was pleased to accept the request to participate in the Digging Deeper follow up process of the Changemakers Sustainable Urban Housing Competition. We participated by special invitation in the Building Back Better Communities Green Expo in Haiti, June 2011. Presidents Clinton & Martelly saw our Sun Oven.
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Select the stage that best applies to your solution
Established (past the previous stages and has demonstrated success)
How long have you been in operation?
Operating for more than 5 years
Which of the following best describes the barrier(s) your innovation addresses? Choose up to two
The Need: What problem are you trying to solve?
In developing countries, and in Haiti specifically, the underlying interconnected medical causations of the conditions: Acute Lower Respiratory Illness (ALRI) and Perinatal Mortality (i.e. stillbirth), due to chronic cookfire smoke exposure, are a complex matrix of: poverty, limited access to technological solutions, cultural resistance to change, nomadic populations, limited developmental interventions, and the problem’s grand scale. The undisputed scientific consensus is that chronic exposure to cooking fire smoke is a cause for both ALRI and Perinatal Mortality, among other debilitating / fatal conditions. USAID, the EPA, and UNDP agree that the average life span in Haiti is shortened by 6.6 years because of the impacts of indoor air pollution caused by indoor burning of biomass.
The Solution: What is your solution? Be specific!
Fuego del Sol implements the Eco-Cooking Test Kitchen / Family Health Center integrated systems approach to identify the best locally developed ecological cooking technology regimen for the specific region / cultures of Haiti and the Dominican Republic, and FdS engages implementation of this regimen’s associated introduction / adoption / sustainment methodology, with the purpose of reducing respiratory tract infections / perinatal mortality, and with the verification metric of an anticipated reduction in the incidence rate of established risk factors for these conditions. Subsequently, this methodology can be replicated globally. FdS is now implementing what the research recommends. FdS and Eco-NGO, Grupo Jaragua (GJ) are the first team to the achieve success (through the women-run Eco Test Kitchen) in developing an effective eco-cookstove regimen which is being implemented, is scalable, and will continue to evolve through the design / technology feed-back loop.
The Model: Walk us through a specific example of how your solution makes a difference; include your primary activities
Women leaders in the community evaluate all ecological technology combinations in our Eco Test Kitchen to establish which can cook the best tasting traditional foods, producing the least smoke. The current technology regimen combines three complementary products: the Global Sun Oven (tested by the Dominican National Energy Commission [CNE] and certified as a beneficial renewable energy product under Law 57-07), the Stovetec efficient household woodstove, and the Stovetec Industrial Stove. Stovetecs save up to 72% of fuel over traditional cooking methods and save up to 82% over the cost of cooking with LPG/ other fossil fuels. (USAID 2011). The feedback loop allows for upgrading the current regimen when improved technology options are imported or developed locally. FdS and GJ have developed the eco-cookstove introduction and adoption process which involves the entire family in the process of obtaining the integrated cooking system. Eco-stoves are not provided for free; recipients must work, pay, train and agree in writing to use each stove before they can receive it. Micro-financing assists in affordability and verifies compliance with the usage agreement. Where necessary, tax-deductible donations subsidize the costs of the eco-stove, but FdS is working, by manufacturing eco-stoves in the local FdS Fair-Trade-standards factory, to lower costs of delivery. FdS is the first company to be engaging the Gold Standard Methodology (GSM) in Haiti/DR to generate carbon credits so that long-term donations will not be required.
The Marketplace: Who are your peers and competitors? Identify others also working to address the needs you are and what differentiates you from them. What challenges could these players pose to your success or growth?
Petroleum organizations have financed a push for the US government to subsidize LPG as a cooking alternative in Haiti. While LPG is generally more ecological than traditional charcoal cooking, due to the lack of LPG infrastructure in Haiti, the poor road conditions in most of the country, and the fact that all LPG must be imported into Haiti, with no domestic production in the near future, LPG is an expensive, heavily polluting, invasive, and risky technology introduction. LPG should not be subsidized, especially not by the US or Haitian governments. Local sustainable programs must be developed and encouraged. Subsidized LPG could destroy the potential carbon credits for real eco-energy development due to the CDM Leakage issue. LPG is an auto fuel: Cheap LPG means more driving-more carbon.
This Entry is about (Issues)
Founding Story: We want to hear about your "Aha!" moment. Share the story of where and when the founder(s) saw this solution's potential to change the world.
With all experts in agreement on the causes of ALRI and stillbirth, why has there been no protocol introduced to address these conditions? In Africa, solutions are illusive because the people keep moving. No local has ever had the advantage of applying the best technologies all in the same place. All efforts have been limited by issues of remoteness and restrictions based on what cooking methods the recipients or their relief agencies can afford. Tested proven solar cooking technology was eliminated from the solution pool because a quality Sun Oven costs US$200. The medical regimen model addresses this. By concentrating on the best available solution, and developing methods to make it affordable, Kevin Adair is initiating a paradigm shift. Limiting exploration to what is affordable now, and ignoring beneficial technologies, has never been effective in medical regimen development. The conditions are medical. The treatment development protocol must be based on the same process.
Please describe the goal of your initiative; outline what you are trying to achieve
FdS will reduce ALRI/ stillbirth in our region and then throughout Haiti/ DR. FdS and GJ are the first team to the achieve success in developing an effective eco-cookstove regimen that is scalable, and evolving through a feedback loop. Anse-a-Pitre (AaP), Haiti is optimum for sustainable introduction of the locally designed technology regimen to combat indoor air pollution. AaP is Sister-City to Pedernales, DR. Haitians and Dominicans travel between the two cities everyday. FdS pioneered supporting DR / Haiti eco-development through GeoTourism in this region. The infrastructure of the DR can support AaP’s industrial development.. Growth of the program would assure the successful sustainable adoption of the ever-improving (life /lung saving) technology regimen by an ever growing population.
What has been the impact of your solution to date?
Olga is the Head Eco Chef in our Eco Test Kitchen. When FdS and GJ started the Eco Cooking program Olga was one of the first volunteers. Olga has baked and sold cakes in the community for many years, but the fuel to bake them was expensive. Olga quickly learned the eco cooking methods, and started leading the community cooking sessions at noon. Then in the afternoon, Olga would bake her cakes in the Sun Ovens for her business. Soon, Olga had earned her own eco cooking system to use in her own home. Now, Olga travels throughout the region with other women leaders to train other cooks in ecologial cooking and explain to them how they can earn their own ecological cooking technology. FdS also builds ecological cookers in our fair-trade-standards factory. So far, 400 Sun Ovens have been manufactured and over half of them have been distributed. Now with the addition of the Stovetec efficient woodstoves to the program, we plan to dramatically scale up our program in the next 6 to 12 months.
What is your projected impact over the next five years?
The demand has been established. We have a waiting list for the ecological cooking regimen technologies. Our current distribution method requires raising funds to supplement the cost of the technology delivery to our potential recipients. In the future these costs can be covered by the carbon credit that the program generates, so the program will be 100% sustainable. The next 5 years depends on raising awareness that we have the first successful and sustainable model, and then generating the support to bring our program to scale. Since different locations have different culinary cultures, different technology combinations would be better in some places and not in others. Local Eco Test Kitchens can determine what regimen is best for each location. Sites can also provide healthcare service.
What barriers might hinder the success of your project? How do you plan to overcome them?
In medical jargon, the concept of “regimen” is used primarily for a combination of diet, exercise and drug therapies that have been shown to be effective against a specific disease or condition. But all medical experts agree that a ALRI and Perinatal Mortality (i.e. stillbirth) are directly caused by a combination of behavioral, cultural and technological factors with the global result of millions of deaths every year. These related medical conditions are now the number-one killer of children under five globally, and specifically in the country of Haiti. It is time to expand the definition of a medical regimen to include technological, cultural and behavioral interventions which are required to create therapeutic change to alleviate risk-factors with recognized and identified preventions.
Winning entries present a strong plan for how they will achieve and track growth. Identify your six-month milestone for growing your impact
Fundraising Drive to Support the Move of our primary Fair-Trade-Standards Eco-Stove Factory from Higuey to the Haiti/ DR Border.
Identify three major tasks you will have to complete to reach your six-month milestone
Start planning meetings for 2 month fundraising drive. 2 Years and little accomplished. Theme:2 Years. 2 Months. 2 Far Forgotten
Contact media to promote the fundraising drive, specifically to focus on the crucial Haitian medical developmental cross-roads.
Confirm dates of fundraiser(s) and hold one or more successful fundraising events in Chicago, and perhaps multiple cities.
Now think bigger! Identify your 12-month impact milestone
Achieving Gold Standard Certification to Finance the Project through Carbon Credits in the CDM and/or Gold Standard systems.
Identify three major tasks you will have to complete to reach your 12-month milestone
Complete registration as the first eco-cookstove Gold Standard Carbon Credit project in the DR/ Haiti. Link with other projects.
Raise funds for the completion of the application process, begin Baseline data collection, and add medical reporting to survey.
Expand the implementation of the medical regimen currently in use. The market and methods are ready. Time to start to scale-up.
Tell us about your partnerships
The key to success in international development is creating a functional growing network where every participating organization and every program benefits through the interconnected matrix. FdS is open-source, transparent and triple-bottom-line -People/Planet/Profit. FdS collaborates with non-profits, corporations, government agencies, educational institutions, artists, innovators and activists toward improving the environment and society. A true Hybrid Network, we form close working relationships with for-profits, NGOs, etc. to work together to improve ecological and social environments.
Are you currently targeting other specific populations, locations, or markets for your innovation? If so, where and why?
FdS is reaching out to network with organizations interested in eco-cookstoves and/or carbon financing throughout the Caribbean. The FdS charter is to create scalable ecological / social benefit throughout Haiti and the DR. The FdS methodology will gradually transform Anse-a-Pitre, Haiti into a model ecological village, virtually free of the risk factors for ALRI and Perinatal Mortality. FdS will follow with a gradual project roll-out, across the Southern Peninsula of Haiti, and then north along the border region and through Port-A-Prince, replicating the process, one region at a time.
What type of operating environment and internal organizational factors make your innovation successful?
Most developmental efforts are by organizations and agencies that are based only temporarily in the countries they are working to serve. FdS is permanently located in the Dominican Republic and Haiti. We live and work with the local populations, and are thus, uniquely familiar with the cultures and people. The US and other further developed countries have extensive ecological technologies to offer. The DR has airports, highways, seaports that can benefit local development. Haiti has carbon credit potential that could generate millions of developmental dollars to improve people's health. The multi-country solution is best. The triple-bottom-line design of FdS and our open-source outreach have succeeded in dozens of active mutually-beneficial partnerships, and our network is always growing.
Please elaborate on any needs or offers you have mentioned above and/or suggest categories of support that aren't specified within the list
Fuego del Sol provides business development and land-ownership verification services in both the DR and Haiti. If you are considering locating anywhere on Hispaniola, please contact FdS first. The extensive services we offer are outlined at www.dominicanconsulting.net. We are also seeking partnerships in our ecological cookstove program. We have created the market, now let's make it grow together.