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Nancy Sanford Hughes

In 2002, Nancy Sanford Hughes’s life changed forever. During a medical mission to Guatemala, Nancy noticed that the smoky open cooking fires were causing a litany of health problems: babies were dying from smoke inhalation; older children suffered debilitating burns; and people developed hernias from carrying heavy loads of firewood. With the help of Rotary grants, Nancy and her fellow Rotary members spent the next couple of years installing approximately 125 fuel-efficient stoves in homes of indigenous Guatemalans. Estimating the need for six million stoves, Nancy helped found Stove Team International. In 2008, she led the creation of a new stove factory in El Salvador, established with Rotary’s help, by purchasing 1,400 Ecocina stoves—small, portable, affordable and safe stoves manufactured in El Salvador. In the last five years, Nancy’s efforts have inspired Rotary clubs from throughout the United States, Central America and Mexico to help establish six additional factories that now employ more than 45 people and have produced and sold more than 35,000 life-saving stoves.

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