- Author Unknown
Apoyo C.A. is an Oregon registered 501(c)(3) non-profit whose mission is to put new or used educational, medical and household quipment and supplies to good use by making it available to low-income people in El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. Apoyo C.A. collects and ships the needed donations to in-country non-profit groups (NGOs) and municipal governments that handle the distribution.
Sometimes, an idea and a little momentum is all is takes to have a lasting impact.
Several years ago, Don Steely traveled with a hand full of Rotarians from Eugene, Oregon to Central America to offer whatever help they could provide. What he wouldn’t know until much later, is that this trip would change his life, and the life of the people of Central America, dramatically.
Living in one-room shacks no more than 12 feet by 12 feet square, were large families huddled around an open fire pit. The smoke filled the tiny space. Many of the children were missing digits and limbs lost to the open flame and their eyes were permanently blurred from the constant smoke. The families were inflicted with respiratory problems, malnutrition, and a lack of reliably clean water.
Don Steely and his fellow Rotarians were spurred to action. What if the Central American people had an efficient stove? How would that help? How could prosthetics be purchased for the maimed children? How could these things be sustained, so that Rotarians could set up a system that the Central American people could then maintain on their own?
Upon returning to Oregon, two things happened. One, Stove Team International was created to develop and produce energy efficient stoves designed to be easily built in Central America. The stoves would improve health conditions inside homes. Two, Apoyo C.A. was formed in Eugene, Oregon to address the increasing poverty and lack of employment opportunities in Central America. Items such as computers can be sold to purchase prosthetics, household items such as sewing machines allow a family to create income beyond agriculture, and medical supplies help eradicate common illnesses.
Eugene area accountant with 25+ years experience. Member of local Rotary Club as well as a board member of several other non profits.
Social worker in Eugene and avid traveler to Central America. Currently the volunteer coordinator at a Lane County community service agency that serves many families with ties to Central American communities.
Develops K-12 school curricula. Serves on the Board of Directors of 4 non-profits, including StoveTeam Int., which establishes locally owned and operated factories that produce efficient, low pollution wood cook stoves.