Sei So Frei Cooperation
The cooperation partners
With over 30 years of experience, ÖkoFEN is considered Europe's specialist for pellet heating systems. We bring the topics of climate protection, sustainability and global responsibility into focus every day through our work and work together on a worldwide energy turnaround.
In order to promote this positive development not only in economically well-off countries, we decided to support the organisation 'Sei So Frei' in projects in Third World countries. The organisation of the Catholic Men's Movement, founded in 1958, works for fairer life chances for people in developing countries.
The situation in Guatemala
In the villages in the highlands of Guatemala, open fires are used for cooking and heating in the huts. The flames soot the living spaces, the smoke damages the health of the inhabitants and the flames are dangerous for the children. The vital wood for burning is hard to find, and deforestation in this region is enormous. After 'Sei So Frei' was asked for help by its local partner organisation ADICO, they asked for support in Austria. In managing director Stefan Ortner and his company ÖkoFEN, specialists in heating with wood, they quickly found the right partner for this project.
How we could help
The ÖkoFEN staff enthusiastically optimised the plans that had been prefabricated in Guatemala. With a simple but efficient wood-saving stove - a masonry stove with an iron plate and flue - ÖkoFEN developed an optimisation of the open fireplaces that is easy to reproduce and cost-effective for the local population. On site, young men were taught how to build these stoves and have thus already been able to provide around 550 families from different villages with such a stove.
The positive impact of the stoves built is enormous. The children can go to school instead of spending hours looking for firewood. Food can be prepared faster, work is more ergonomic and the cooking area can even be used as a dining table. The most crucial improvement, however, is that sooty lungs and damaged eyes caused by the smoke are a thing of the past and the health of the occupants is no longer burdened. Furthermore, the wood for heating is burnt more effectively and deforestation is reduced because people have to buy and collect wood less often. In addition, the huts are continuously supplied with heat during the cold nights.