Rotarians have been busy sorting out their unused tools to donate to the charity Tools for Self Reliance, and we're pleased to say that our latest collection has just been picked up.
Tools for Self Reliance was started in 1979 to work with small-scale community based groups. They envision "a practical way to support tradespeople in some of the poorest parts of the world". Tools are collected through the Charity, refurbished and then sent out to six countries that are their areas of focus – Ghana, Malawi, Tanzania, Uganda, Sierra Leone and Zambia. The mission of the Charity is to reduce poverty in Africa by helping people build sustainable livelihoods through the provision of tools and training.
Working with local partners in their focus countries, training is provided in trades such as carpentry, mechanics, tailoring and welding alongside business and financial management training and life skills. Trainees are equipped with a start up tool kit and are supported in establishing their own businesses. About 25,000 tools are shipped out each year.
Our Rotary Club proactively supports the local workshop based in premises at the Pilgrims Hospice. This is the only workshop for the Charity in Kent, where a dozen or so volunteers refurbish old tools and sewing machines before sending them down to the central warehouse in Southampton. Our latest donation included saws, planes...and yes, even a sewing machine.
Our Club helped the local branch become established (with donations via our International Committee) and since then has provided a steady stream of tools for refurbishment. Storage has been provided courtesy of Past President Tim Brett, and Rtn Bob Anderson acts as principal collector, sits on their committee and reports on a regular basis to our International Committee. Bob is very enthusiastic about the Charity's work and our club's support. He remarks: "Rotary is not all about collecting and dispensing money to charity".
Please email us if you have a number of good quality tools to donate, putting 'FAO: B. Anderson, Tools for Self Reliance" in the subject line.
Visit the Tools for Self Reliance website for further information about the Charity.
Photo: John Burton, local organiser, collecting tools for the Charity. Picture Credit: Bob Anderson.