Friday, August 31, 2007

Here’s an Easy, Tangible Way to Help the Refugees in Darfur

Here’s a way to reach out across the miles and provide needed help to the thousands of refugees from Darfur who are stranded in camps in hot, dry Chad . In many developing countries, women and girls must gather firewood for cooking fuel. When they venture outside of the refugee camp, they become prey for militia and roaming bandits. They are often raped, beaten, and even branded.

In addition, the age-old practice of building fires to cook meals has damaged the ecosystem and is believed to contribute to global warming. The United Nations reports that 52 percent of trees cut across the world are used for cooking fuel. In addition, women in developing countries often suffer from lung and eye diseases because they inhale smoke equivalent to smoking 10 to 20 packs of cigarettes a day.

What can you do to help?

Jewish World Watch and the American Jewish Committee are raising money to outfit every refugee family with at least two solar cookers. Use of the solar cookers cuts use of firewood by 40 percent, cutting back on the need for dangerous treks outside of the camp.

For just $30, you can purchase solar cookers for two refugee families, or for $90, buy stoves for six families.

Here's some more information about this project.

If you’d like to donate online, click here. I can't think of a better way to help preent violence against women and children, along with helping them be more independent and be able to focus on greater uses for their time.

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