Students tackle African poverty

November 1st, 2010

For almost 30 years Nottingham students and UK charity Tools For Self Reliance have helped some of the world’s poorest people to work themselves out of poverty.

UK-based charity Tools for Self Reliance (TFSR ) has praised the contribution of Nottingham students, while calling for continued support to give communities the tools required to build a sustainable income.

Students currently volunteer to repair some of the 50,000 tools that the charity sends to communities across Africa each year. On collection of the tools, recipients are also offered vocational and business skills training.

TFSR Publications Officer, Rob Wescott explained: “The volunteers at The University of Nottingham bring enthusiasm, energy and new ideas to the organisation. They challenge the old ways of thinking and help us to learn, evolve and stay relevant to young people in Africa.

“We want the students at Nottingham to continue to offer their time and energy to keep the flow of tools going. But it can go beyond refurbishing old tools. There are lots of other ways that students can get involved, from fundraising, profile raising and so on.”

Rob also believes that the work is of benefit to the volunteers themselves and is keen to encourage more students to get involved.

“In our experience Tools for Self Reliance delivers for its volunteers on several levels. It not only provides the knowledge and satisfaction that they’re helping others less fortunate than themselves, but it also offers new skills.”

Masters student Corrine Kirk, who has been splitting her time between psychology lectures and the TFRS workshop for over a year, agrees with Rob.

She said: “It’s really enjoyable. It’s so satisfying doing something this practical. There are short-term gains too. You get the satisfaction of making something. It’s a totally new experience for me. It’s good to know you’re doing something really, really rewarding.”

For more information on how you can support the charity, visit

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