In Scotland, good quality second-hand carpentry tools and old Singer sewing machines are donated to Tools for Self Reliance (TFSR) workshops across Scotland, and are refurbished by groups of volunteers, largely adults with learning difficulties. Three TFSR workshops in Scotland participate in Global Concerns project work in Malawi:
- Garvald Centre in Edinburgh
- Milltown Community near Arbuthnott, Aberdeenshire
- Camphill School in Aberdeen
The workshops are based at centres run on Rudolf Steiner’s principles. The recycling, educational, skills training and confidence building aspects of this work, fit well with the Steiner-based philosophy. The refurbishing tasks vary in complexity from sandpapering wooden handles to hand sharpening saws and sewing machine repairs.
The output is high-quality refurbished tools ready for a long working life in Africa. Toolkits and sewing machines are then boxed and shipped to Malawi, to equip the vocational training centres at our projects with MACOHA and KODO, and provide toolkits to enable training graduates to start up their own businesses using their acquired skills.
The volunteers who refurbish the tools in Scotland have benefited equally from being involved with this project. This partnership has enabled TFSR group members to have a more immediate and comprehensive connection with the recipients of the tools in Malawi, who in turn learn about the Scottish refurbishers. This is very much in the original spirit of TFSR and the project still holds great potential for everyone involved.
Volunteers’ motivation has been increased by having lots of photographs, information and feedback from the groups using the tools in Malawi. They are certainly proud to be involved in such a positive exchange between groups of adults with disabilities in two very distant and different countries, and to be part of the larger Scotland-Malawi Partnership.
To donate tools or enquire about volunteering at Garvald TFSR in Edinburgh, contact Paul Turner, TFSR Workshop Leader, Garvald Centre, 454/1 Gorgie Road, Edinburgh EH11 2RN
Telephone: 0131 337 4965 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org