By Paula Ebben, WBZ-TV

BOSTON (CBS) – Imagine something that costs just a few pennies to make, but has the power to change the world. Some simple and remarkable inventions are doing just that in remote parts of the world.

A stove isn’t something Americans don’t give much thought, but operating one in Darfur can be dangerous. Women are often assaulted on their long treks to get fire wood. An alternative stove developed here in the United State has been created that costs just $20 and uses less wood.

Andree Sosler of the Darfur Stove Project says there are other benefits with these stoves. “They reduce pressure on forests by reducing the amount of trees cut down and also reducing the emissions of greenhouse gasses,” she added.

WBZ-TV’s Paula Ebben reports

Another small invention with a big impact is the PeePoo bag. Used in the slums of India and Kenya, these bags sanitize human waste and create fertilizer when they are buried. They cost just pennies per bag.

Americans also take for granted how easy it is for us to get clean water just by turning on a faucet. That’s not the case in many African countries, but an invention called the Hippo-Roller is changing the way African women transport water. Instead of carrying 10 gallon jugs on their heads, women are able to roll 25 gallons of water with much greater ease.

Another common shortage in many third world countries is electricity. The Socket Ball actually harvests the energy of a soccer game and turns it into usable power.

A clean birth kit is helping rural midwives deliver healthy babies. In India alone, 78,000 women and one million babies die each year in childbirth. Those deaths can be prevented with this $2 kit.

Kayla Springer of Global Envision say these inventors are called Anti Poverty Pioneers. “You don’t have to be Albert Einstein or an Alexander Graham Bell to change the world. You just have to have the passion and make the right kinds of partnerships to make that happen.”

So far, the Darfur Stove Project has supplied 20,000 stoves. They hope to increase that number to 900,000. Sosler added, “Some people even call the stove the “stove of hope” because it helps women so much.”

Comments (4)
  1. kylaspringer says:

    Global Envision is a blog that explores market solutions to poverty and is produced by Mercy Corps, a humanitarian aid and long-term development organization based in Portland, Oregon.

  2. Andree Sosler says:

    You can learn more about Darfur Stoves Project at