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Home  >  News  >  Guild Thanked for Bolivia Project

News

Guild Thanked for Bolivia Project

Thursday September 29

A Bolivian couple using one of the solar-powered ovens provided by Christian Aid

The Church of Scotland Guild has been thanked by a Bolivian Christian Aid worker for funding which is transforming the lives of families in the Amazon.

Christian Aid’s ‘Caring for Mother Earth in Bolivia’ is one of the Guild’s supported projects for 2015-2018. Between September 2015 and June 2016 nearly £240,000 was raised for the six projects altogether, with nearly £30,000 going to Bolivia.

The money is providing solar powered ovens in areas which are feeling the effects of climate change.

Cecelia Cordova, programme officer for Christian Aid in the Bolivian capital La Paz, is visiting Scotland this week to speak to partners about the project, and participate in a ‘Care for Creation Conference’ being held this weekend in Bridge of Allan.

She said: “One of the main effects climate change has had is change of the rainy seasons. Before, we knew it would start in September or October and last until March, but now we have had years where rainy seasons were shorter but it was really heavy, and sometimes we have had years where it has rained throughout the year. In 2014 we had one of the strongest floods we remember, but this year drought has been the main problem.

“Even though we reached a good agreement [at the climate change conference] in Paris, we still need to strengthen work on climate change adaptation because the changes are already happening.”

They first provided the solar ovens to four families, expanding to 60 when the pilot programme proved successful. Cecelia said the ovens have helped free up the women from domestic chores and enabled them to play a fuller part in their communities.

“With these ovens you don’t really need to be there while they are cooking, you can just put the food in and leave it for a few hours. And what we saw after the first four was that these women now do have time to participate in more productive activities, either by going with husbands to the field or working in small shops.

“One of the women has now launched a service for some people in the communities, using the oven to prepare food and selling it for lunch.

“And another uses the time either to participate in the community or to play sport for herself.

“Something else we didn’t really expect was that women have made a lot of experiments with the ovens, not just used them to cook what we taught them. They’ve been trying to see how to better prepare rice, or how to dry fruit, and when we learned about all these discoveries we asked them to share, with the idea of doing a recipe book.”

She added that the initial pilot was started ‘only because the Guild chose to support it’, and that there are plans to expand the project to 180 families with the support from Scotland, as well as seeking further funding from other sources.


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