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Zainabu Ramadhani, 19, (yellow and red patterned skirt) her mother Fatma Mziray, age 38, (blue head dress) and Fatmaâs sister-in-law Zaitun Hamad, 18, (orange wrap and white top) walk home after gathering firewood near Fatmaâs home in Mforo. Mforo is near Moshi, Tanzania. Fatma Mziray is a Solar Sister entrepreneur who sells both clean cookstoves and solar lanterns. Fatma heard about the cookstoves from a Solar Sister development associate and decided to try one out. The smoke from cooking on her traditional wood stove using firewood was causing her to have a lot of heath problems, her lungs congested her eyes stinging and her doctor told her that she had to stop cooking that way. Some days she felt so bad she couldn't go in to cook. Fatma said, âCooking for a family, preparing breakfast, lunch and dinner I used to gather a large load of wood every day to use. Now with the new cook stove the same load of wood can last up to three weeks of cooking. âWith the extra time I can develop my business. I also have more time for the family. I can monitor my childrenâs studies. All of this makes for a happier family and a better relationship with my husband. Since using the clean cookstove no one has been sick or gone to the hospital due to flu.â Fatma sees herself helping her community because she no longer sees the people that she has sold cookstoves have red eyes, coughing or sick like they used to be. She has been able to help with the school fees for her children, purchase items for the home and a cow. âWhat makes me wake up early every morning and take my cookstoves and go to my business is to be able to take my family to school as well as to get food and other family needs.â
PhotographerJoanna B. Pinneo