As if escaping violence in your home country and seeking refuge in another wasn’t scary enough, people are faced with many similar dangers they ran from such as violence, hunger, displacement and looting. Many refugees are women and girls who face even further dangers. The simple act of leaving camp to search for firewood or water means risking rape and or death.
Since people left their homes with hardly anything and no money they can’t just buy an electric stove, what they need is outside support to give them a hand up. That’s where the Darfur Women Network(DWN) is stepping in.
Mastora Bakhiet moved from Darfur to the USA over 10 years ago, but she didn’t forget her home. With the help of volunteers she created the Darfur Women Network to support refugees and create economic development for the women living in refugee camps. Working directly with refugees to define the issues that are most important, they created the safe stove program.
The safe stoves were created because traditional stoves used in the camp caused health problems and required women and girls to leave camp in search of large amounts of firewood which in turn caused deforestation. The DWN teaches women how to build and sell clay stoves made from local resources to other refugee women.
In one of the many camps outside Touloum, Chad, the DWN has also partnered with the local government to provide tree seedlings so refugees can grow trees thus reducing the unsafe trips out of camp while also easing the deforestation on the nearby forest that has taken such a beating from overuse due to a combination of the refugees and local citizens. Between the safe stoves and tree seedlings women and girls will be able to focus on education and work instead of surviving and avoiding violence. Read the full article and learn how you can get involved at Impoweryou.org/2014/10/29/women-refugees
What do you think? Leave a comment below! You can also share your experience with being involved in your community on our Volunteer Story Page