The Tool Club
Creating sustainable lives through tools
Like most of the best ideas, The Tool Club is really simple. Local people in sub-Saharan Africa, see the needs in their own community; this might be a lack of education, unemployment or poverty - and they decide they must help.
These individuals set up training workshops to teach marginalised communities tailoring, or carpentry and mechanics'
workshops to get youths off the streets and away from gangs. These projects often start in a living room, or even under a tree.
All they need are the tools, and this is where the Tool Club comes in.
What is the Tool Club?
Every month you can pay towards sending a tool kit to a graduating trainee in Africa. The number of kits you send each year will depend on the how much you choose to give. The options are:
£6 /month you will send three kits to Africa a year, a Sewing Machine, Mechanics' Kit and Agricultural Kit
£12 / month you will send five kits to Africa, a Sewing Machine, Mechanics' Kit, Agricultural Kit and also a Carpentry Kit and Computer Kit.
£18 / month you will send eight kits to Africa, a Sewing Machine, Mechanics' Kit, Agricultural Kit, Carpentry Kit, Computer Kit and also a Sewing Kit, Knitting Machine and Electricians' Kit.
Edwin lives in Uganda, in a poor town near the DR Congo border. He tells us his story:
"I was mining sand because no one cares about me and I needed to earn money. My father died and left my mother to bring up five children. I am the youngest. I used to mine sand as I had to support myself and help the whole family.
This was very hard for me, as I am only 16 and it is a job nobody wants to do. It pays very little for hard labour.
One day a community worker from a local church found me, and asked about me. He said they were starting a motorbike repair course and would like me to join. I said I could not, as my family needed my money, but when I spoke to my mother, she said I must do the course and somehow they would survive.”
Tools with a Mission equipped the training centre, and as a result Edwin has completed his training and with the support of the church is setting up a small workshop. We have given him a complete Mechanics’ Kit. Edwin is now doing well and is once again looking after his family from the profits of his workshop. He will soon earn enough to take on his own apprentice. It didn’t take thousands of pounds of aid to do this, but local people reaching out to their community with the support of tools. Finally Edwin says: "Without this training I wouldn't get any job and do not know what I would do."
Below are two more amazing stories of livelihood creation!
So how do I join The Tool Club?
There are three ways you can sign up:
1. The quickest and easiest is via the charity giving site - Virgin Money Giving. It's all done online in a few minutes using a Credit or Debit Card. You'll need to register with Virgin and add your preferred giving amount in the option box, as we can't customise their giving amounts. If you choose this option, please specify in the comments section that you are signing up for 'The Tool Club'.
2. If you prefer a Standing Order, you can download and print a form here.
3. If you would like us to send you the Tool Club leaflet and sign up form, then please email or ring us and we'll pop one in the post.
t: 01473 210220 Monday to Friday 9.00am to 2.00pm.
are proud to sponsor the Tool Club
Running your own business to provide an income for yourself and your family, and perhaps even being able to offer employment to others is a privilege here in the UK. For some, in parts of Africa it can be a complete life changing opportunity and potentially a way out of poverty and desperation. That’s why the work of TWAM providing tools and equipment is so important. As a local collector of tools, I have been out to Uganda on several occasions and have worked with projects that have received tools from TWAM, so I know the impact they have. I’ve seen the transformation, empowerment and hope that the skills gained and tools provided can bring to individuals who want to start their own business and offer a better life to themselves and their families. This is why as a company we are thrilled to be able to partner with TWAM and sponsor their new Tool Club initiative. As Greenscene works for a greener planet, we are pleased to support TWAM as they work to change the future of many disadvantaged people for the better.
Andy West, Managing Director, Canaan Country Ltd – The home of GreenScene Plastic Free Model Scenery Material. www.greenscene.online
Frequently asked questions...
What will I get when I sign up?
You will get a Tool Club email every time you complete the purchase of a Tool Kit throughout the year.
We will send you by post our quarterly newsletter: TWAM News
You can also sign up for our monthly supporter e-newsletter by clicking the link at the bottom of the page 'Get our enews'
Why send tools not money?
Simply because you have to keep sending money, but one tool kit can provide work and a sustainable livelihood for life. Tools will eventually break, but once you are earning a living, you can afford to replace them.
How do you work out the cost of an individual tool kit?
The price of a kit includes the cost of collecting the donated tools, of sorting and refurbishing, and assembling into individual tool kits. Finally, the cost of shipping the tool kits to Africa and transporting them to our local in-country distribution centre.
It is actually very hard to estimate this figure, as shipping costs vary from country to country, and we never know how many tools we might need to purchase to make up for shortages. So, we have done our best to be accurate and honest in the above figures, and are confident over a course of a year that they are relatively accurate for the vast number of kits we send out.
What goes into a tool kit?
The number of tools in each varies considerably, but for a good overview please go to our tool kit pages.
Why not buy the tools locally and support the local economy?
1. Quality tools are rarely available in the developing world, and where they are, they are very expensive. To purchase tools locally invariably means, expensive but sub-standard tools. We hear many stories of saws breaking the first time they are used, sewing machines breaking down within months. If you have saved up for years to buy a machine and fulfil your lifetime dream, this is truly heartbreaking.
2. Another key reason, is the environmental responsibility to save good tools from landfill and give them another lease of life.
3. This also means bringing great comfort to many of our donors, who are offering us the treasured tools of their late husband, or beloved sewing machine of their late wife. They do this knowing it would break their loved ones heart if they were being thrown away but thrill them to know another person will use and cherish their tools and machines.
So how many tool kits do you send every year?
We send nearly 14,000 boxes of tools. sewing and knitting machines and large power tools every year. You can check out how many of each we send and where we send them on our 2018 Review of the year page.