IF you have a garden shed in need of some serious de-cluttering, then you will be delighted to support a special scheme which finds new uses for old tools while providing a lifeline for families in Africa.
Derry City and Strabane District Council are joining forces with Tools for Solidarity – a charitable organisation which repairs old tools and sewing machines and ships them to Africa where they are vital to local artisans trying to make a living.
Launching the scheme the Minister for the Environment and SDLP Foyle MLA, Mark H Durkan, urged local people to back the campaign.
“I’m sure most of us have unwanted tools and equipment lying about which could be utilised by people who can’t afford to buy new equipment.
“Following on from Recycling Week it’s important that we look at alternative ways to reuse materials, and this scheme not only promotes environmental awareness, it offers people independence and a means of supporting their family.”
Waste and Recycling Officer with Derry City Council, Julie Hannaway, explained more about the scheme. “Lots of people have good quality older tools lying about in sheds and garages which are never used.
“The tools in demand are traditional metal and wood style tools which have perhaps rusted over time, rather than newer less robust equipment.
“These can be repaired and transported to Uganda and Tanzania where they can be used by artisans there who can’t afford the basic tools of their trade, providing them with the means to support themselves.
“Tools for Solidarity also provide people with the skills and training to use the equipment supplied.
“I would really encourage anyone with tools they no longer use to contribute to the scheme, and while I know sometimes people hang on to some of these items for sentimental reasons – they could be of even more value in the hands of someone in need.”
The Tools for Solidarity group has been operating in N. Ireland since 1984 and in 2007 they established a sewing and training centre in Mwanza in Tanzania where they help small businesses and women’s groups in rural areas, vocational training colleges and people living with disabilities.
The group has also supplied over 100 tool kits to support skilled Ugandans working in carpentry, building, mechanics, tailoring and other artisan activities.
As well as traditional tools, the organisation also collects old sewing machines which are then repaired and supplied to their centre, where people are trained both in sewing and sewing machine repair.
Derry City and Strabane District Council will be collecting the tools at all recycling centres throughout Derry and Strabane.Tags: