Sunday, 25 March 2007


(Click on the title for a link to the Tools for Solidarity website)

At the Castle Espie fair, I was impressed by a Belfast based charity set up in 1992 called Tools For Solidarity (TFS) which refurbishes old tools to send to less developed countries around the world. The tools make a real difference in countries such as Uganda, Ghana and Tanzania where groups are also taught the skills required to learn a trade. Small co-operatives have been set up where people can earn a living making clothing and furniture and increasing their income so they can afford medicines and school fees. At home the centre in Belfast works on a cross community basis and youth organisations, volunteers with mental and physical disabilities and school groups all get hands on experience refurbishing the tools. They also learn more about aid, waste, re-cycling and other development issues.

The tools they need are for trades such as carpentry, joinery, mechanics, bike repair, construction, shoemaking and tailoring, this includes sewing machines. TFS is also looking for manual typewriters and they do accept a limited number of electrical tools, particularly electrical sewing machines. TFS is also interested in some machinery including lathes and welding equipment.The list for tools that are needed is endless and anything from gardening equipment to anvils and from pins, buttons and zips can all be used. I have a contact number for the nearest contact and collection point in Coleraine: Amyan MacFadden, Kilcranny House 04870342112 or 048 703 21816.

If you would be interested in finding out more about the none profit making charity or would be interested in setting up a collection point, the number for the Belfast office is 048 90 747473. Alternatively if you want to go to the web site it’s


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