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Local HVAC business helps women in Rwanda out of prostitution

  • Written by Woodinville Weekly Staff

When Dwight Miller, one of the founders of Lifetime Heating and Air Conditioning traveled to Africa for a master’s program in International Development he realized that combining business with mission would be a main tenet of their business moving forward.

rwanda3Dwight Miller (left) and Fred, co-founder of Hagari Ministries, showing the solar dryer they built. (Courtesy photo) During the visit to Rwanda, Dwight helped build a solar dryer, compost tumbler, and a hanging planter bag for the villagers who don’t have access to a garden and built them with locally sourced materials. “I was horrified by the lack of basic needs such as shelter, clean water, sanitation and food and was inspired to come back to the states to find creative ways to elevate people out of poverty.“
Dwight Miller and his business partner Darrick Philp wanted to put their faith and business in action.

“I am currently working on a design for a hanging planter bag for poor villagers that is made and sourced for extreme affordability that can grow tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, eggplant and strawberries to support the families nutritional or financial needs.” In addition, Dwight found that most families in Rwanda buy charcoal briquettes for heating water and cooking food. Over 86 percent of Rwandans use charcoal and not only does it contribute to massive deforestation, but it also expensive as it imported into the country from Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania. “I just finished a test pilot for banana briquettes from waste materials commonly found in Rwanda such as banana peels and sawdust.” He will be bringing the briquette press to Rwanda upon his return in September to work on creating a local business to use local waste materials as a less expensive biofuel option for local Rwandans.

Dwight is working with Hagari ministries in Rwanda to explore the creation of local profit-based businesses that hire and train women who are currently trapped in prostitution. Hagari currently teaches women job skills in local basket weaving and pays fair trade for each basket made. In addition, the children of the women are provided a school education and nutritious meals during the school day. “When a client purchases a new heating or cooling system from us, they receive a hand-woven basket that is made of 33,000 stitches and took over a week to make.”

About Lifetime Heating and Air Conditioning: Lifetime Heating is a 2-year-old heating, cooling, plumbing, indoor air quality, and energy efficiency company concentrating in residential service. For more information on environmental products and services, visit www.heatingforlife.com.

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