Edi­tor’s pick

Workaid pro­vides means to help African peo­ple out of poverty

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - NEWS - by Camilla Goodman camilla.goodman@trin­i­tymir­ror.com Twit­ter: @Camil­la_Good­man

We are de­lighted that we con­tinue to help so many achieve a bet­ter life. It is a tes­ta­ment too to the vi­sion of our founders that the model they in­spired con­tin­ues to work so well Workaid chair­man

Rob Levine

A CHE­SHAM-BASED char­ity is cel­e­brat­ing 30 years of help­ing to lift the peo­ple of East Africa out of poverty.

On Satur­day Workaid, based in Townsend Road, Che­sham, will cel­e­brate 30 years of send­ing tools and other equip­ment to East Africa at a cer­e­mony in The El­giva, in St Mary’s Way.

In the pres­ence of founders, pa­trons, lo­cal dig­ni­taries and rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the coun­tries that ben­e­fit from Workaid’s ac­tiv­ity, the char­ity will re­ceive the Queen’s Award for Vol­un­tary Ser­vice from Her Majesty’s Lord Lieu­tenant for Buck­ing­hamshire Sir Henry Aubrey-Fletcher.

The ‘Tools for Life’ pro­vided by Workaid have en­abled thou­sands to es­cape from poverty by en­abling them to de­velop skills in a va­ri­ety of ways.

Women have used do­nated knit­ting and sewing ma­chines to start small busi­nesses and earn money to feed and ed­u­cate their chil­dren.

Men have ac­quired skills in hor­ti­cul­ture, con­struc­tion, car­pen­try and other trades, pro­vid­ing them with earn­ing po­ten­tial and boost­ing lo­cal economies in ar­eas where the un­em­ploy­ment rates are as high as 70 to 80 per cent. Workaid was started in Amer­sham by a group of lo­cal Chris­tians led by so­lic­i­tor Ken Nunn, who de­cided to re­spond to the famine crisis in Africa.

The images screened nightly on tele­vi­sion in­spired them to col­lect and re­fur­bish tools and send­ing them out to Africa.

They used ‘Tools with a Mis­sion’ as their model.

With the help of some 300 vol­un­teers, in­clud­ing 70 area or­gan­is­ers across the UK, Workaid con­tin­ues the work be­gun by its founders.

In the year 2014/2015, Workaid shipped out eight con­tain­ers to 170 projects in Tan­za­nia, Kenya, Uganda and Zam­bia.

The 80 tonnes of tools rep­re­sented by these ship­ments has helped break the cy­cle of poverty and given more than 8,000 peo­ple skills for life, adding to the many thou­sands helped by Workaid over the past 30 years.

Com­ment­ing on the con­tin­u­ing suc­cess of Workaid, its chair­man Rob Levine said: “We are de­lighted that we con­tinue to help so many achieve a bet­ter life. It is a tes­ta­ment too to the vi­sion of our founders that the model they in­spired con­tin­ues to work so well 30 years later.”

Workaid’s cel­e­bra­tions will con­clude with a Ser­vice of Thanks­giv­ing at Broad­way Bap­tist Church, in The Broad­way, Che­sham, at 3pm on Sun­day.

All are wel­come.

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