What is Tools with a Mission?
Tools with a Mission (TWAM) began over 40 years ago with one man gathering a few used tools which he and others refurbished and sent to Africa to help someone set up a business and earn a living. Demand soon increased and the man’s garage became too small to house the tools. Over the years this charity has grown enormously and now operates from 2 centres in Ipswich and Rugby.
How does TWAM operate?
TWAM sends about half a million refurbished tools a year to countries in sub-Saharan Africa. The aim is to increase this number to one million in the coming years as demand is high. They are sent to charities which have set up centres to train people in various skills. The students receive not only the practical training needed but also teaching on administrative skills and book-keeping, besides literacy and maths if they have been unable to complete their schooling. When they qualify each student is given a tool kit to enable them to start a small business. Most of those who receive help have never had the opportunity to earn a regular income and their families suffer many disadvantages. Once a business is set up the family can have a better standard of nourishment, children can be sent to school and medical help obtained when needed. The majority of those helped go on to have a better standard of living while some grow their business and train others. The communities benefit too as they can access services locally that are of a good standard.
What sort of tools does TWAM collect?
They take implements for building, carpentry, electricians, plumbing, motor mechanics, power tools, agriculture and horticulture, tailoring, knitting and computing. (There are a few things which cannot be used so please check on the TWAM website for a full list: www.twam.uk)
How can you help?
At WBC we have had an annual collection day for TWAM for some years and the response has been amazing. We know that it is worthwhile as we usually fill a one-ton van full of tools for refurbishing. People appreciate the opportunity to give tools they no longer use to a good cause, rather than sending them to landfill. So please, have a look in your sheds, garages and spare rooms and bring along any unwanted tools that could be used by the charity. We look forward to seeing you and receiving your old tools on Saturday 23rd September. If you need any more details, please phone, or email the church office (firstname.lastname@example.org / 01953 606520).