Your unused sewing machine could be a 'lifesaver' for families in Africa

A woman in Zambia showing off her newly refurbished sewing machine from Tools with a Mission

A woman in Zambia showing off her newly refurbished sewing machine from Tools with a Mission - Credit: TWAM

An Ipswich charity is asking for people's unloved sewing machines, so they can be refurbished and sent to Africa where they can be used to earn a living and start a business.

Tools With a Mission (TWAM) has been collecting and refurbishing tools and machines for over 30 years now, sending them overseas to people who can use them to transform their livelihoods.

In many countries people have few skills, little education and no means of earning a living — and a switch from aid dependency to self-sufficiency is impossible without help.

On top of this the pandemic has had a devastating effect in many African countries and Ipswich-based TWAM is on a mission to repurpose your dusty sewing machine stored in the loft. 

One of Ipswich-based charity's volunteers giving a sewing machine a drop of lubrication to finish its refurbishment

One of Ipswich-based charity's volunteers giving a machine a drop of lubrication to finish its refurbishment before being shipped out - Credit: TWAM

Many women in poor villages have become widows at a young age and have children to support, but with the gift of a fully refurbished sewing machine, many have been able to start their own business and often go on to teach others.


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Mike Griffin, chief executive at the charity, said: "In the hands of a determined tailor in Africa, sewing machines transform lives.

"They provide income to put food on the table, send children to school and keep a roof over their head — your unused sewing machine would be a life saver in Africa."

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The charity has collectors and centres across the UK to refurbish tools and machines, sorted into trade kits such as; builders, carpenters, electricians, agricultural, ground works, motor mechanics, plumbers and large workshop tools.

Old PCs can also be refurbished for a useful new life.

Do not worry if it has not been used for a while as all machines that come in are given a full service.

Tools With a Mission can be contacted on 01473 210220 or emailed at: post@twam.uk.

For further information about the charity and what it does, visit the website here.

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