Growing up in Kenya with a Maasai father — the first in his village to leave for an education– Payan was born in the U.S. to an American mother who emigrated with her new family to Nairobi. With a good city education, Payan also left home, for a degree in engineering at Princeton University. After 14 years in the USA, Payan decided to tackle a serious health problem, joining his parents and siblings in health-related work. Attracted to design challenges, Payan decided on an affordable stove that would reduce lung disease and save trees: that’s Kenya Stove, and YWI will shoot Kenya Stove’s progress this fall, as he works with a competitor to distribute stoves to the women and children who need them most. Scientists say that exposure to the daily smoke from ordinary cook stoves can be as toxic as 1-10 packs of cigarettes per day: wow.
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