Girl Scout alum Morgan Serventi from Page, Arizona, continues to earn accolades for her humanitarian service project, “The Power of Poo” — this time from Girl Scouts of the USA. GSUSA has named her a 2014 National Young Woman of Distinction, an honor only bestowed on 10 girls across the country.
“We are delighted to see Morgan recognized nationally with this great honor. Her commitment, innovation and leadership have resulted in a sustainable solution that brings water and heat to a small Kenyan village and beyond," said Tamara Woodbury, CEO of Girl Scouts–Arizona Cactus-Pine Council.
Last November, Girl Scouts–Arizona Cactus-Pine Council recognized Morgan with their Young Women of Distinction Award, which celebrates rising female leaders. This year’s Women & Young Women of Distinction award luncheon will be held on November 15 at the Arizona Biltmore Resort.
Morgan’s project brought heat, light, and pure water to the small village of Wamba, Kenya, and has also been adopted by a community on the Navajo Reservation in Arizona. Her project is sustainable, ecologically brilliant, and affordable for families who live on less than we can imagine.
Morgan had firsthand knowledge about cattle since she raises steers, sheep and lambs in 4-H. So she decided to design and build a methane biodigester that converts animal feces into methane gas. The colorless and odorless methane gas can then power a camp stove, creating a source of heat and light to boil water and cook food.
Her goal was to work with the local people so they could replicate the biodigester with supplies in their village. Fortunately, the supplies needed were simple, and indeed, available.
“They were so excited—so hungry for this,” Morgan says. The fuel—animal “poo”—was everywhere. When she started to collect feces, the local children quickly caught on and helped. “One of the extra benefits,” says Morgan, “is collecting the feces helps clean up the land, making the area in which they play and work cleaner and safer.” Morgan and the people of Wamba built not one, but three bio digesters while she was there.
Morgan said it was the kindness and love of the people she met in Wamba that was the most satisfying part of her project. “They taught me how to treat people,” she says.
Morgan will be honored at Girl Scouts of the USA's national convention in October in Salt Lake City, Utah.