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Total loan: $575

Phatsima Group

Flag of Lesotho
Maqhaka, Berea, , Lesotho / Personal Use

Phatsima Group's loan finished fundraising,
but these similar borrowers just need a little more help to reach their goals!

A loan helped to pay for an ACE cook stove, which will improve her life in terms of health, lower fuel costs, and less time spent collecting firewood.

Phatsima Group's story

Matlotliso is a 45-year-old single mother of 3 children and a grandmother of 4 grandchildren aged between 6 and 2 years. She lives with all her children and grandchildren, a big family of 8. They live in two separated traditional huts that are neither well-ventilated nor do they warm up well in winter.

Together with her eldest daughter, Matlotliso works long hours to ensure there is enough food for her family, some of whom are going to school and can only help her in the field on Saturdays and Sundays. She also works as a tailor, and from the little she makes there and what she makes from selling her crops, she is able to provide for her family.

Matlotliso has to wake up very early, between 3am and 4am, during the week to start preparing the fire for cooking breakfast, heating water, and warming the house for all the children before they go to school. Collecting firewood, setting up the fire, and doing the actual cooking demands a lot of her time.

Temperatures in the Lesotho highlands are never really high. Winters can get very cold and often Matlotliso has to start the fire inside her hut. Starting a fire releases smog and smoke, which when inhaled in large quantities over a period of time can lead to lung diseases, eye problems and, in the worst case, death. In these circumstances, life for people like Matlotliso is very difficult.

Matlotliso has requested a loan from Kiva lenders in order to be able to purchase clean cook stoves, which will provide her and nine other people from her village, who are living in similar circumstances, the chance to cook in a way that does not harm them and their families. As well, this way does not require expensive paraffin and gas, or a lot of wood which is hard to find in Lesotho. This stove can be started with the use of very little readily available biomass - such as dry twigs and dry cow dung - that does not require much time to collect. It also does not produce smoke while burning, thus making it safe to be used inside the home.

This stove comes with a solar panel for charging the battery - which runs the fan in the stove - a USB port for charging phones and a mini LED lamp. It is a life-improving package for these women. This stove saves them time to be with their family, saves energy, eliminates toxic inhalation, and gives them a better lit home, making cooking and children's homework easier in the evening. For more stove info, please check www.africancleanenergy.com.