Tools For Self Reliance Cymru collect old and unwanted hand tools, mostly those used by gardeners, and their volunteers clean, repair and sharpen them. They send their refurbished tool kits to grass roots community groups in Africa.
As they explain, "Tools mean work, and the chance to shape their future, just as important to a young person in Tanzania or Ghana today as it is in Britain."
In addition to sending tools to Africa, TFSR Cymru also buy tools and items made by blacksmiths in Africa, those they have supported in the past, and bring them back to the UK for sale.
TSFR Cymru also sell a large number of tools that they receive for refurbishment but which are not required by their African partners, either because they are easily made locally or are not needed there. These tools are also cleaned and sharpened, fitted with new handles where necessary and often have much more character than modern tools.
We encountered TSFR Cymru at this year’s Abergavenny Food Festival when their box of rakes, hoes, cultivators, dibbers caught our eye. When we saw how reasonable the prices were, Pete could not resist purchasing a cultivator, which shall be put to good work in the garden and allotment in coming months.
There were also some smaller gardening and other tools available which would be ideal for gardeners, or as gifts for gardening friends.
Tools For Self Reliance Cymru are an independent registered charity based in Crickhowell in South Wales, and they collect tools from across Wales.
For those outside Wales, if you have friends and family closer to TFSR Cymru or are planning a holiday, do look at whether you are able to contribute any old and unwanted tools for them to refurbish. TSFR Cymru have four groups in Wales as well as a network of collectors who also help them gather suitable tools.
(There is also a separate UK Tools for Self Reliance organisation which does similar work and may have centres near you).
With thanks to Abergavenny Food Festival for press passes to attend the festival.