Development Association for Rural Energies
The Save 80 cookstove, which DARE promotes, gets its name from the amount of Naira that people typically save once they stop cooking over a traditional 3-stone fire. What DARE recorded was a reduction to 20 NGN from 120 NGN with each fuel purchase – thereby saving families 80 NGN. That's about $.50 – but that means a lot for women often living in rural and poverty-stricken areas of the country.
“She couldn't stop asking, 'Is this my money?' Her eyes filled with tears when she learn how much money she had saved – it was quite emotional,” said Ahmed, describing a woman's reaction to one of DARE's tried and true experiments: after visiting each village with their pictorial and factual presentation and conducting a live cooking demonstration, DARE also lends women the Save 80, asking them to cook on it and to report back on their preferences for or problems with the stove once DARE returns in one month.
What DARE also leaves behind, however, is a box with a slot in the top of it. Since the Save 80 relies on far less wood to cook food, “we ask them to put the money they would have normally spent on fuel into the box, and not to touch it until we return. On average, at the end of the month some women save about 3,000 NGN.”
The way DARE engages with and sustains their relationship with the women and families of rural villages is quite interesting. In addition to engaging local governments, “We work with local young men who are not in school or working to be our focal points in these communities. We train them, involve them in assembly and distribution, and even have them gauge the level of sales interest among the women,” Ahmed mentioned.
He added a compelling point: by hiring and training these young men, “we are depriving violence mongers of their raw material.”