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Sponsor a project with Tools for Self-Reliance

Tools for Self Reliance logo

The profits from your Young Co-operative could be used to sponsor a project in Africa – either with a one-off pledge or by regular donation – run by Tools for Self Reliance, an organisation which makes new uses of unwanted tools which are donated and refurbished in the UK. In return, you would be kept up-to-date with the progress of the project and the impact of your donation.

Tools for Self-Reliance helps skilled people in Tanzania, Uganda, Ghana, Zambia, Sierra Leone and Malawi earn a living from donated equipment, from blacksmiths tools such as anvils to sewing machines, screwdrivers and tape measures which are used by metalworkers, woodworkers, mechanics, electricians, builders and leather workers.

It works in partnership with other organizations to help both individuals and the wider community fight poverty by providing apprenticeships and training, as well as encouraging businesses to set up networks to get better access to raw materials and share their ideas for new projects.

Tools for Self-Reliance also works with certain groups of society such as those with AIDS, women and people with disabilities. The Tools for Life project, for example, gives participants a six month training course to learn practical job skills in trades such as building, carpentry and tailoring, as well as teaching the facts about the HIV/AIDS virus.


One project which can be sponsored is Girls Growth and Development in Ghana, where Tools for Self-Reliance has teamed up with a programme to help girls – who often have little prospect of finding work other than as porters or cleaners or in the sex trade – learn trades such as hairdressing as seamstressing. As well as a centre in the city Tamale which has a crèche, hostel, sales unit and workshop and classrooms, there are three centres in rural areas. Each year, training is offered to 100 students, including basic literacy and numeracy skills to help them set up and sustain their own business, alongside counseling on issues such as health care, HIV/AIDS, hygiene and nutrition.

Or, you could support the Mikolongwe Vocational School in Chiradzulu, Malawi, run by an organisation called Development Aid from People to People (DAPP), which instructs budding self-employed builders and carpenters.

In Sierra Leone, students are offered vocational courses in carpentry, tailoring, metalworking, welding and blacksmithing, alongside basic business skills such as pricing, marketing, record keeping and profit and loss. They also learn about peace building, democracy and civil rights, including gender and equality rights, at the same time as getting advice on HIV/AIDS.

To find out about sponsoring a project, or other ways of fundraising for Tools for Self-Reliance, visit