What barriers might hinder the success of your project and how do you plan to overcome them?
Barriers to success include poorly developed site locations for the stoves, resources for securing materials need to construct the stoves and a lack of skilled craftsmen. Additional barriers include a lack of economic and health benefits knowledge an installed stove will provide a family. Paso a Paso realizes that long term success requires a "feet on the ground" approach. While initial efforts and progress were conducted through repeated 1-2 month visits several times each year by the founder, Paso a Paso has recently been able to secure designated gifts which occasionally provide for a small stipend to 3 full-time volunteers in Guatemala. The full-time volunteer staff contributes to opportunities that aid in developing individual and organizational support, securing resources in support of the mission, developing site planning and construction labor pools and conducting educational awareness. Further efforts to increase the presence of Paso a Paso’s missions in the community require; continual volunteer recruiting while motivating volunteerism within the local populace and the international volunteer corps.
Tell us about your partnerships
Along with the founder’s visits and the local volunteer staff, awareness of Paso a Paso within its home community has increased regionally. Proof of this occurred when Paso a Paso was asked to begin providing services within the community of El Rejon. Paso-a Paso has a dedicated team of stateside volunteers who have made repeated visits in support of Paso a Paso's various missions and efforts. Paso a Paso’s website details many of these visits. These volunteers continue to provide financial assistance, labor resources, materials and education to those that Paso a Paso serves.
In addition, Paso a Paso has recruited volunteers who maintain the organizations web site and who also are able to provide marketing, grant writing and fundraising support.
Paso a Paso is actively seeking partnerships with new faith based organizations as well as maintaining the current relationships with corporate sponsors while also seeking new corporate partners. Currently, a commercial partner in Antigua, Guatemala provides labor to aid in building packages containing school supplies for children participating in the school supplies and tuition assistance reward program.
Building similar relationships in support of the stove construction and site development programs are in their infancy stages. Barriers to Paso a Paso's success at training and securing skilled craftsmen to construct the stoves are hampered by the ability to provide consistent work resulting in the craftsmen leaving the area for work elsewhere, including immigrating to the United States. However, with increased awareness and by default, increased installations along with the examples of having built several stoves, Paso a Paso has observed an increase in participation demand within the building trades’ community whose members are lending technical knowhow towards site development of planned stove installations.
Explain your selections
Paso a Paso became organized with the help of family and friends who were supportive of the Founders vision and initial efforts within Guatemala. With outreach and marketing, Paso a Paso has formed relationships with 6 faith based organizations that support Paso a Paso with financial donations of $20,000.00 annually. Three years ago, Paso a Paso started a fund within the Foundation for Community Partnerships (www.creatinglegacies.org) to aid in fund raising and awareness of the organizations missions. Through its website, Paso a Paso also offers, fair trade crafts made by residents of Barrio La Cruz. Through the sales and profits of these items, further support is generated. Continuing efforts will be made to secure additional funding through grants and awards.
In the fall of 2011, Paso a Paso will begin a capital campaign to secure funding for the building of a bunkhouse and office for volunteers to reside in, short term, while engaged in active support of the various missions conducted by Paso a Paso. The cost is estimated at $100,000.00.
Paso a Paso recognizes the impact the local and international business community will play in the prevention of health related injuries caused by poor fireplace/stove use. Paso a Paso will continue to seek the support of the business community through donations and in-kind services with a goal of collecting $40,000.00 annually. Current recipients of stove installations will be encouraged to communicate the positive impact these installations have made personally for their families, within their community and regionally.
How do you plan to strengthen your project in the next three years?
With a simple and cost-effective solution of substituting a safe stove for an indoor fire pit, Paso a Paso can significantly improve the quality of life for 500 poor Guatemalan families in the next 3 years. Paso a Paso's initial success has been through the result of building and maintaining relationships with supporters/donors. As a result of these efforts, Paso a Paso has been successful in reaching out to other interested parties and securing 15% of our financial need. Through a combination of personal marketing efforts by supporters and donors and a proven success record on the ground in the communities served by Paso a Paso, new faith based institutions have sought out Paso a Paso. Recently, a grant writing professional has volunteered her services to assist Paso a Paso in securing funding. Paso a Paso recognizes, that for it to continue to provide stoves to Guatemalans, requires actively educating the local populace about the economic and health benefits of the stoves and general fire safety while simultaneously educating businesses and the local and national government to become active participants in these programs. There are many incentives for local, national and international businesses and governmental stakeholders to realize favorable financial benefits as a result of a stove installation and fire safety education programs. It is expected they will observe from the best practices and lessons learned that the programs contribute to a family’s lessened burden on existing governmental assistance programs and the services and costs associated with providing them.