By Staff Writer
Tools With A Mission (TWAM) Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Mike Grifin is highly impressed with skills development programs being implemented by Solwezi Municipal Council through the Community Development section charged with such a responsibility in the community.
Mr Grifin who is in Zambia to monitor how organisations in various parts of the Country are utilising tools donated by TWAM, was yesterday at the Kimasala Community Centre to interact with women beneficiaries and to find out how the donated equipment is being used to change their lives.
The women who displayed their tailored and sewn works which included: Clothes; School Uniforms, Bags; Pillow Cases; Scarfs; Jerseys and Doormats, among others treated the TWAM Founder and entourage to a thunderous welcome expressing joy for what the Council has done for them through the organisation.
At that point, Mr Grifin could not hold back his joy when he commended the Local Authority which he said had shown commitment to improving the lives of community members and hence has proved to be an institution that TWAM can continue to work with by supporting community development programs once applications are made.
Despite it being a short visit, Mr Grifin and entourage took time to interact with the beneficiaries and check on their works.
Solwezi Municipal Council was represented by the Chief Community Development Officer (CCDO) Mrs Evelyn Phiri who thanked TWAM for positively responding to the Council’s applications for equipment, indicating that the Municipality needs support from cooperating partners such as TWAM in order to fully implement skills development activities.
Mrs Phiri also took time to show the TWAM CEO the Carpentry Workshop at the Kimasala Community Centre which has been built by the Council.
The CCDO expressed gratitude to the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development through the Local Government Service Commission for advertising the position of Instructors in Carpentry as well as Tailoring and Design, who she said will be instrumental in supporting skills development.
Tools With A Mission is a United Kingdom based Christian Organisation that donates tools, and works with different organizations across the globe that have shown commitment to improving the lives of community members. The tools range from sewing machines, knitting machines to carpentry and mechanics tools.
Solwezi Municipal Council is one of the beneficiaries of the donated items and equipment by TWAM, having received its first consignment in the year 2020 and the second one early this year after making an application.
Ultimately, five (05) Clubs (Lusekelo; Bukwasho; Kukenga; Tweende Pamo and Kyaabu Multi Purpose Cooperative) with a total of 54 women and men have benefited from the equipment donated by acquiring various income generating skills.
The beneficiaries have so far been equipped with skills in Machine knitting, Hand Knitting as well as Tailoring and Design.
Currently, there are 24 Women aged between 22 and 58 being trained since June this year in Tailoring, who will graduate in October, 2022 after which another set will be enrolled.
Mr Grifin is in the Country to monitor life saving programs being implemented by various organisations using the donated tools.
So far, he has been to Muchinga, Copperbelt, Lusaka and currently North Western Province.
The rationale behind empowering community members with various skills is for them to ultimately generate their own income, create their own businesses and build a mindset of independence thereby improve their livelihoods.