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Crowdfunding for Social Good
Devin D. Thorpe
Devin Thorpe

This Teenage Ambassador for Wonderbag Is Addressing Three Global Problems at Once

Chiara Savage Schwatz, a teenage changemaker, is working to raise money to help families in South Africa obtain Wonderbag slow cookers. These ingenious products require no energy! Families use them by bringing a pot of food up to a high temperature over a fire or stove and then by inserting the pot into the superinsulated bag to finish cooking, reducing the total energy required to cook the food.

This single tool helps reduce fuel consumption and indoor smoke. By reducing fuel, usually charcoal or wood, she is helping to reduce deforestation and to slow climate change. By reducing indoor smoke, she is improving the health of everyone inside the home, especially the women in children who tend to spend the most time there.

By using donations to make the devices free or affordable to low-income families, she is helping to address global poverty. When low-income families can spend less on fuel, more money is available for clean water, food and education.

So, the Wonderbag is one intervention that addresses three key problems: poverty, global health and climate change. Chiara is one powerful teenager!

Interview with Chiara Savage Schwartz, the Wonderbag Ambassador of Wonderbag/Wonderbag.org.

The following is the pre-interview with Chiara Savage Schwartz. Be sure to watch the recorded interview above.

For-profit/Nonprofit: 501(c)3 Nonprofit

Revenue model: I have raised almost all of my funds by doing bake sales, selling all homemade treats at various grocery stores and sports events where I live. When I do bake sales, I generally make three batches of chocolate chip cookies, three batches of brownies and two batches of rice crispy treats per bakesale. My supplies have generally cost about 10% of my profits. By doing bake sales in my local community I have raised awareness about my cause and gotten friends and family involved to start fundraising efforts with me. My past few bake sales have been done with friends at my own high school and others, and I am hoping to expand to more friends and schools to collaborate with other kids who want to make positive change in the world.

Scale: Over the past two years I have sold over 7000 treats and raised over $11,000 by running bake sales and one online fundraiser. Since the beginning, the fundraising has been almost all individual, but it is now beginning to expand and people take interest in the cause, and this is awesome!

What is the problem you solve and how do you solve it?

I work to address issues of inequality in the world. In particular, I am motivated to help girls get their educations. By raising funds to bring Wonderbags to families, especially families that cook over open fires, I am hopefully freeing up time spent gathering wood and cooking, so that girls can go to school, and so women can do money-generating work. This is not an issue with one simple solution, and it will take time, effort, and worldwide attention to work towards equal educational opportunities for everyone.

More about Wonderbag/Wonderbag.org:

Twitter: @WonderbagSA

Facebook: facebook.com/TheWonderbag/

Instagram: @thewonderbag

Website: www.wonderbag.org

Wonderbag works to economically empower women and girls around the world by addressing the critical daily challenges of time poverty, self-worth, and cleaner, healthier cooking. A Wonderbag is a non-electric slow cooker that reduces the amount of energy needed to cook by 30-80% and can save women 1,465 hours each year spent cooking and gathering fuel to cook. It is an eco-friendly and resourceful tool that is being activated in communities worldwide to help free up their time to obtain educations and seek better job opportunities.

Chiara Savage Swartz in South Africa. Photo Credit: Mark Strassman

Chiara Savage Schwartz’s bio:

Chiara Savage Schwartz has been fundraising to bring Wonderbags to communities in need since she was 11 years old and, with her family, was visiting two school programs in South Africa, the Kliptown Youth Program(KYP) and eSibonisweni Primary School. After consulting with program teachers and successfully testing 5 Wonderbags at KYP,  Chiara raised the funds to bring 280 Wonderbags to the Kliptown Youth Program community in 2016 by doing bake sales in her local Marin County community. Returning to South Africa in 2018 after two more years of fundraising, Chiara brought 500 Wonderbags to the eSibonisweni Primary School families and hosted a Wonderfeast for 1200 people, where there was a full demonstration on the benefits of Wonderbag use and a community celebration. Chiara is motivated to help women and girls around the world, and work to make the world a more equitable place. Chiara is currently a high school freshman at Marin Academy, and an avid runner, soccer player, and skier. She adores baking and also loves art, in particular pen and ink drawing and ceramics.


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