COVID-19 won’t stop Malawi Tool Shipment

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COVID-19 won’t stop Malawi Tool Shipment

COVID-19 won’t stop Malawi Tool Shipment image

Refurbished tools will go to those that need them in Malawi this year thanks to the hard work and support of volunteers at The Ecology Centre and The Rotary Club of Cowdenbeath.

After being closed for over 6 months due to COVID-19 The Ecology Centre got its Tool Shed volunteering programme up and running again less than two months ago and are working round the clock to get their biggest shipment of tools ready.     

COVID-19 has created many challenges for this years’ tool shipment, with many of the other tool refurbishment sites unable to complete their allocations due to lack of volunteer resources. 

Tool Shed Officer Lee Brown said: “Previously we would have shipped 6 kits, however our volunteers have been desperate to keep busy, get back to it and are working hard to produce a record 14 kits, whilst also provisioning for a further 6 should they be needed.

“To enable us to reach this target we have been very grateful for the support of The Rotary Club of Cowdenbeath in helping us to collect old, unwanted and used tools.  Without these donations and the donations we’ve received from members of the public we couldn’t produce these kits.  We’re fortunate to have such a dedicated group of volunteers who are working hard to transform all these rusty tools!”

Tom Russell from The Rotary Club of Cowdenbeath said “The Tool Shed’s operation and objectives embrace so many of the aims of the Rotary ideals and projects – like endowing and empowering individuals and communities with the means to develop and improve their quality of life, both at international and local community levels.  The exponential benefits to everyone involved are evident and conducive to skills development, social goodwill and good health, as well as the environmental element of the Tool Shed’s work.”

“Rotary clubs recognise the importance of sustainable support and continuity for such projects and commend the willingness of our local communities and public for their generous support.”

The Tool Shed has a dedicated team of 16 volunteers, including some that have committed in excess of 1000 hours to get this shipment ready. 

Tools are donated by the public, refurbished and are then donated via charitable partners - Tools for Self Reliance and the Scottish based Global Concerns Trust.

The team have worked closely with The Global Concerns Trust over many years have sent a variety of tools and Singer sewing machines to those disadvantaged by physical disabilities in Malawi.  Through their in-country training partners, trainees receive work based skills training, in either carpentry, cane furniture making and tailoring.  Each year The Global Concerns Trust ships over 1000 wood working tools and 32 manual singer sewing machines and treadles to Malawi allowing for the training to take place.

This program is only possible by having a constant supply of donations of old, unwanted and used carpentry tools, which the team are always looking for.  They also accept donations of old and unwanted garden tools too as they are the prime focus for their Thursday dementia friendly volunteering Tool Shed sessions.  These tools are refurbished and made available to local community groups.

If you’ve had a lockdown shed or garage clear out and have any kind of tools that you would like to donate contact Lee Brown via email at Toolshed@theecologycentre.org to discuss pick up or drop off.

In the picture, from left to right:- Ken Littlemore (Tool Shed volunteer), Lee Brown (Tool Shed Officer), Bob Smith (Tool Shed volunteer) and Tom Russell (The Rotary Club of Cowdenbeath)

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