A community in Zambia have been able to build their own workshop thanks to the donations of tools by Mercury readers and church goers.
Derrick Crump, 72, who lives in Barnack, travelled to the Katete Eastern Province Zambia in June to see the small community building the workshop. The aim is that they’ll be able to use the workshop to start their own businesses and earn income.
Derrick, who has worked in a number of developing countries, collects tools and equipment via All Saints’ and St John’s Church in Stamford to give people in Zambia the chance to earn money, learn skills and be able to support their families with a regular income.
He pays his own air fare, lodging and the cost of sending crates of items out but says the outcome is very rewarding.
He said: “It’s important that they learn through doing something - if you just gave them the money they would spend it but they are gaining skills and improving the quality of their lives.
“It’s very rewarding when they come up to you and say ‘look Mr Derrick at what I’ve done’.
“By building this workshop themselves, they’ve got pride and a sense of ownership. They put in so much hard work, working long hours in hot weather and finding ways to do things if they were struggling.
“It was amazing to see it being built and to know it will help them for life. It’s a bit rickety but I know they’ve done the best they can.”
Derrick, who works as a furniture restorer, is planning to send on sewing machines and wood working tools so the Zambian people can use them to start businesses. He also organises training for them.
He has been working on similar projects for more than 10 years and has seen it be a success in Kitwe Copper belt region, which is now a self-supporting workshop.
Derrick added: “I wouldn’t be able to do it without the support I get from the people of Stamford.”
As well as people who have donated items, he also thanked Stamford Independent Travel who help him to find flights.
For more information on the project or to find out more about donating, contact Derrick on 07902003544.