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International Lifeline Fund ("Lifeline") is a U.S.-based nonprofit organization whose mission is to reduce human suffering ... through programs and activities that generate the greatest possible impact at the lowest possible cost. We give people who are facing situations of sheer desperation a lifeline - something to grab on to pull themselves up to save or better their own lives. Lifeline emphasizes simplicity - basic, cost-effective technologically smart interventions that promote self-sufficiency and provide durable solutions.
Our initiatives focus on the most basic resources of our planet--literally, earth, air and water. ... Our environmental initiatives provide a remarkably cost-effective method of combating deforestation at the same time that they dramatically reduce morbidity and mortality rates from toxic indoor air pollutants. Our clean water initiatives are having an equally dramatic impact in mitigating the terrible scourge of water-borne disease. The heart of Lifeline's environmental program is its fuel-efficient stove project. ... This project addresses myriad problems associated with cooking on an open fire by reducing the need for wood by as much as 70% and reducing smoke emissions by even greater amounts. Lifeline teaches women how to build and use the stoves relying on a training of trainers ("TOT") model. The raw materials are quite literally "dirt cheap" and, since most of the labor is done by the beneficiaries themselves, the per unit cost of production can run as little as one dollar per stove. Lifeline has managed stove programs in both Uganda,Sudan, Kenya and Tanzania. In little over two years, Lifeline has instructed some 40,000 women in those countries on how to make and use the "rocket stove." Given an average family size of about five or six, Lifeline estimates that its stove program has already provided concrete and enduring benefits to more than 200,000 displaced and vulnerable persons. Lifeline's clean water program targets remote villages in which the only water source is a stagnant pool. ... Since commencing that program in the summer of 2006, Lifeline has produced some 90 boreholes at less than $1,500 a piece - about one fifth the amount that most international agencies budget for that task. With each of these wells serving a population of between 500 and 2,000, Lifeline's water program is filling the clean water needs of more than 100,000 individuals - and will continue to do so for years to come - at a cost of a little over $1.00 a person.
- Rachael Reichenbach
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