Malawi: Tools for Self-Reliance
Providing carpentry tools for young people to set up in business in teams or on their own
In memory of Bob Cook, the late father of our trustee, Chris, we have just arranged with Tools for Self-Reliance to provide kits of refurbished carpentry tools to five locations in Malawi. These will be used to give vocational training to young people. Bob loved working with wood and produced impressive results, like making a wardrobe smaller by cutting out some of the middle and joining the two halves back together again - seamlessly! As the projects progress we will be able to share photos and updates on the kits in use.
The kits will be assembled in the UK from second-hand tools sourced here and refurbished by volunteers, and then shipped to Malawi.
We have agreed a grant of £1,406, made up as follows:
£172 for two training centre kits
£246 for six larger kits, for groups of about eight people
£324 for 12 standard kits, for groups of three to six
£168 for 12 solo kits
£496 to pay for their transportation to the locations in Malawi
Count Your Blessings
To raise more funds and provide even more kits for Malawi, we’re using an idea which we’ve used before, called ‘Count Your Blessings’. To start with you download our Lenten calendar (see below). The idea is that for each day in Lent you look at this calendar and count up the items it tells you to count. It may be planes, saws, or DIY projects completed. These are all things we can be thankful for, and we can easily take them for granted. So it is, quite literally, counting your blessings. Once you’ve counted the items, you pay a small sum per item into a pot, or write the figure on the calendar. On the calendar there is a suggestion of how much to put in per item. It is great for kids (and for grown up kids)! Finally, at Easter you pass the money to Natalya’s Fund - you can use the Donate page - where it will be used to provide tools and training to needy youngsters in Malawi. Please ensure we get your donation by 30 April.
There are two versions of the calendar:
a traditional version in PDF, which you can print out and put on your notice board, which also has a space for you to enter your figures for each day, and
a spreadsheet in Excel, which does the arithmetic for you - intended for use on screen with a desktop or laptop computer. (To enter figures you'll need to click on 'Enable Editing'.)
Photos when available
Update: Coronavirus - How it Affects this Project
26 March 2020
At the moment there are no reported cases in Malawi, although there are limitations on public events, and programmes are still running with tightened hygiene practices. However, Tools for Self-Reliance (TSR) is preparing for the situation to change, and anticipates that the programmes we are supporting will be delayed.
The shipment to Malawi will still go ahead this year, in preparation for the programmes. However it will be delayed, as the TSR workshop in the UK is currently closed. It is hoped that it will be able to leave in June, but of course that depends on how the global situation develops.
You can be assured that all funds already raised, and the funds being raised through Count Your Blessings, will be used in exactly the ways described above. There will however be an unavoidable delay because of the Coronavirus pandemic.
Why not source in Malawi and support the local economy?
Tools in Africa tend to be of poor quality and expensive. Often, if there is a metal part in something, it is found to be made of plastic and sprayed silver! Tools for Self-Reliance does source agricultural tools in Africa, as tools donated here tend to be for gardening rather than agriculture. There are blacksmiths working in Africa and they employ them to make agricultural tools.
Will the tools safely get to where they're required? Can hidden costs be incurred?
Tools for Self-Reliance uses a clearing organization and has never had a problem with items not reaching their destination, or with hidden costs.