This spring I traveled to the Bolivian highlands to meet the families of Huarina, whose lives were transformed by a clean cook stove project that we recently completed. I was welcomed by their smiles and joyful stories of women cooking on their new stoves without tears in their eyes or coughing attacks. I was comforted by the sight of children, even a two-week old infant, snuggling up in the same room as the stoves, warm and safe.
As I spoke with these mothers, I could not help but think of Linda Boise. Just a year prior, Linda and I shared a one-room hut in coastal Ecuador, listening to the adjacent river and talking into the night about Green Empowerment projects, partnerships and more. Linda would have loved to meet the women of Huarina. She would have been proud to know that our practical interventions were helping women to heal and children to grow with lessened risk of upper-respiratory illness – still a leading cause of death among children under five.
Linda passed one year ago – a devastating loss to all touched by her kindness, including Green Empowerment. We promised to honor Linda’s unwavering commitment to our organization through action. With the blessing of Linda’s husband and a generous contribution, we established the Linda Boise Program Enrichment Fund. I am humbled to share that the fund reached nearly $60,000.
These contributions allowed Green Empowerment to:
Train over twelve partner organizations and thirty communities on improved Water Quality Standards and water, sanitation and hygiene to improve health outcomes – something Linda cared deeply about.
Implement improved Partnership Guidelines to evaluate partner readiness for project participation and create space for idea-sharing, strategizing and goal-setting.
Deepen our impact by exploring new partnerships in current program countries. To date, the time we invested in relationship-building has led to two new partnerships in Malaysian Borneo, two in Peru and one in Nicaragua. And we are already piloting projects together!
Build the capacity of biogas practitioners and indigenous youth in Malaysian Borneo to bring this adaptive technology to six villages in Sabah.
I so wish that Linda was here to see the impact of the funds raised by her family, friends and community; to see her legacy live on in the women of Huarina, in young biogas practitioners in Sabah and in each new partner we support. As Green Empowerment’s Board Chair, Linda spent a great deal of time contemplating our role in the world. She truly believed in our model and in the many people who make our work possible, including you.
On behalf of Green Empowerment, thank you for your commitment to making the world a healthier and happier place. We so appreciate your contributions to the Linda Boise Program Enrichment Fund and hope that you keep our organization, the communities we support and Linda in your hearts and minds next year and beyond.