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Friday, May 11, 2012
The Ten Dollar Stove
Yusuf Tura is a man with an interesting story. Several
interesting stories, in fact. There is the story of his escape from
Ethiopia…his redemption in the United States…his vision for a safer world. They
are all threads in the quilt of one man's life. That man is Yusuf Tura.
When Tura was young, he left Ethiopia for the relative
safety of a refugee camp in Kenya. The conditions were anything but
comfortable, but compared to the horror he was fleeing, it was everything. When
Tura arrived in the United States, the shelter he was taken to seemed like a
luxury hotel…his own bed, clean bathrooms, and as much food as he could eat.
And he could eat.
There are too many people who have stories similar to
Tura's. It is our collective shame as a planet that we allow our brothers and
sisters in other lands to suffer and starve. Tura decided to do something about
the problem. He set his sights on one very simple, ten dollar solution to a
very big problem.
Tura is the inventor of the 'Ten Dollar Stove'. People all
over the world suffer from eating food cooked, inside, over a wood fire. The
air is polluted, many suffer horrible burns, and firewood is so scarce that much
of the day is spent looking for fuel. And it is taken anywhere it can be
found…from palm fronds to trash dumps.
That is only a piece of the problem. In the quest for
wood, forests are decimated. Vast areas of woodland are flattened because of
the need to solve an immediate problem: how to eat, how to stay warm.
Tura decided a simple stove was the answer, and he went to
work. After researching and experimenting, he devised a simple stove, made of
sheet metal, that houses a briquette made from waste materials. The stove costs
ten dollars. The briquettes a small handful of change. And they will burn
safely for four hours.
This is by no means the end of the story. No, this is the
beginning. Tura provides jobs in his homeland, where the stoves are
constructed, but aside from his co-workers, most cannot afford the ten dollars
for a stove. Many trade crafts that they make…and Tura must now figure out how
to turn this into profit with which to expand his vision.
There are many people that talk about helping those in
need. There are many people who talk about saving the environment. Tura is
accomplishing both these things for less that the average American spends on
food in a day.
No, the story is not over. It is just beginning. And you
can help be a part of the change. Donate, spread the word, be aware of
what is being done. And by sharing your time and awareness, this project will
succeed and Tura's vision will become a reality. Safe stoves. That doesn't
seem like a lot to ask for. But for many it is the difference between life and