Monday, December 6, 2010

The Adventure Project

I'm giving my brother coal for Christmas.

It's not that he was necessarily naughty.  In fact, he's one of the nicest, most generous guys I know. This Christmas he decided he doesn't want any gifts.  He figures he can buy anything he needs.  He doesn't particularly understand why people enjoy giving each other presents.  It's moments like this when I wonder how we're related...just kidding, Matt!

You see, giving gifts is my love language.  I excel at giving gifts that people love.  I wanted to respect my brother's wish for less "stuff" but I still wanted to give him something as an expression of love.  I asked him if I could donate to a charity in his name.  He thought that was a great idea and so that brings us back to coal.

I recently learned about The Adventure Project.  I was so impressed by their mission that I joined The Tribe, a group of people joining together to educate and advocate while raising awareness and funds.

TAP has launched The Coal Project. Here's their explanation of the problem: "Everyday, 3 billion people in developing countries are exposed to toxic smoke when preparing meals. Cooking on traditional stoves & open fires causes; 1.9 million premature deaths annually, increases deforestation, & contributes to economic burden. Acute respiratory infections are the number one cause of death in children under five-years-old, mainly caused by breathing in the smoke while their mother prepares meals. The smoke is equivalent to smoking two packs of cigarettes per day."  

The solution?  Charcoal-efficient stoves, which can be sold locally and sold at an affordable price.  They reduce the amount of charcoal needed and cooks food faster and safer.  This in turn saves families time and money and is more environmentally friendly.

TAP partners with International Lifeline Fund, which in turn trains a sales force of female microentrepreneurs’ to sell the stoves throughout rural villages.

The focus this Christmas in on Haiti.  The goal is to sell 2000 lumps of coal at $20 apiece, which will help 2000 families or roughly 10,000 Haitians. 

As of December 1, 283 boxes had been sold.  If you'd like to ensure that 2000 families receive a charcoal-efficient stove, please click here to purchase your box of coal.  Or if everyone in your life has been nice, you can donate here.  Money raised will do the following: distribute more stoves to families in tent camps and grow ILF‘s business model, help set up a factory, train micro-entrepreneurs, and create a sustainable enterprise.  

There are a few reasons I'm on board with The Adventure Project.
1. They are meeting a concrete need.
2. They are empowering the people they're helping to take this project on themselves.
3. It's low-cost, high-impact.  "It’s about creating jobs and dignity. It’s fixing problems and saving lives."

Follow TAP's blog to check progress on The Coal Project.  Hopefully we'll meet our goal!

Oh, and don't tell my brother what he'll be finding in his stocking.  I'm looking forward to the look on his face!

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