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  • Writer's pictureOmar Samman

Martha's Story

Updated: May 16, 2018

This mother of three is embracing electricity in her home for the first time.

Martha, her daughter and granddaughter inside the kitchen are shown in the picture above. Here is our barely adequate attempt at smoke ventilation with a 2.5W USB fan. Note for next time - - bigger and more powerful fans!

One of the first families we met at La Mora was Mrs. Martha Martinez. As head of her household living in a one-bedroom home outside the village of La Mora, Martha is a very talkative 55-year old lady with 3 kids, two of which are sick with mental illness. Martha is a dedicated mother firstly, waking up at 4am every morning to start cooking for her family.

Martha works as a housekeeper and her 26-year old daughter, who happens to be a single mother, is the only one who provides for the family. She works on the field as a laborer and earns around U$65 per month. This provides only for necessities such as food and rarely for other important things like a pair of rubber boots.

The family does not currently have a cellphone, but they will soon get one because she now has a place to charge it using her new solar kit. Martha previously used a small flashlight for lighting her home at night, but with the solar kit and two LED light bulbs provided, her home is now brightly lit. This has become a blessing since she is very afraid of snakes, a common siting in this area. Who isn’t though? Oh yeah, Jarib isn’t afraid of snakes…

Martha has chronic breathing issues, so we are attempting to ventilate her kitchen to help alleviate the heavy smoke when she cooks. It is very common for folks like Martha to use coal or wood stoves for cooking, which creates harmful fumes inside the home; this is a significant health issue for the people around the world faced with similar circumstances. Martha is a strong Christian and has a great testimony. The team at Beyond the Light Project is honored to be able to know her and looks forward to seeing her this summer to check up on everything.

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