Joy and reunion during the 30th Anniversary of TFS

Many friends, former volunteers and supporters came along to the 30th anniversary celebrations of Tools For Solidarity, who are all part of our big and beloved Tools Family.

During our five day programme of activities we had thought provoking development events including interactive workshops, an extremely amusing pub quiz with well thought out questions, a treasure hunt and last but not least, a highly anticipated bash with a fantastic line-up of local bands and entertainers, including Tim McGarry and Terri Hooley.

The Open Day was the highlight of the celebrations. John gave a heart-stirring speach and afterwards a couple of friends of TFS also took the stand to share some unforgettable stories about their experiences in the organisation. We had a splendid lunch with homemade dishes and after we played some entertaining yet quite tricky games.

It is difficult to put into words how grateful we are to everyone who attended our special celebrations (many of whom travelled great distances to be with us) and for their kind and supportive words and deeds. We were over the moon to get you folks together to help celebrate 30 years of Tools for Solidarity and all that has been achieved during that time. We could not have made it through these thirty years without all the help and support that we have received. Hopefully we will meet up at the same place for the same reason in 5 years time.

Progamme of events for the 30th Anniversary of TFS

Wednesday, 20th of August

8-10pm.    Sustainable development interactive workshop by Roisin McEvoy at Ballynafeigh Community Development Association (more details here).


Thursday, 21st of August

4-6pm.    New economics and a New Society: A discussion on the possibilities and challenges by Tony Weekes at Ballynafeigh Community Development Association (more details here).

8pm.    Pub Quiz at St Malachy’s College Old Boys Association (more details here).


Friday, 22nd of August

11-3pm.    Open Day at the new workshop. 55a Sunnyside Street Belfast BT7 3EX. (more details here)

8pm til late.    Birthday Bash (more details here).


Saturday, 23rd of August

1pm.    Treasure Hunt at Glengall Street (Europa bus station). (more details here)

5pm.    Documentary of The End of Poverty? directed by Philippe Diaz (more details here).

8pm.    Tools Party with DJ and open mic (more details soon).


Sunday, 24th of August

2pm.     Tools picnic at Cavehill (fingers crossed for the weather!). Assemble at outside Belfast Castle.


Development Events during the 30th Anniversary of TFS

Hello folks!!

As you already know, we’re organising the activities for the 30th ANNIVERSARY OF TOOLS FOR SOLIDARITY. We hope that all of you will be there to celebrate with us.

Included below you can find the Development Events that will take place on Wednesday the 20th, Thursday the 21st and on Saturday the 23rd of August.

We would be grateful if you can spread the word! Send us an email if you want to have the poster on pdf to print it out for display.

Thanks and see you soon!!


New activity in the ESD programme

On February 3rd, the Education for Sustainable Development group (ESD) debuted a new activity, The Fair Trade Cocoa Game. The activity took place at Cliftonville Integrated Primary School (Belfast) with the P6 classroom.

The ESD had been wanting to implement a new activity related to this topic for quite some time. When the teacher informed us that the students had been studying Fair Trade for the past few weeks, we considered it the perfect opportunity.

The general objective of the game is to experience the injustice of the current market system and recognize the benefits of buying fair trade products.

The game consists of a role-play where, during 60-75 minutes, the children have to work from the position of the farmers, the companies, the supermarket and the shoppers. At this time the students can feel the unfair situation of the farmers versus the Big Chocolate Company and the better deal that the Fair Trade Company gives to the farmers. They also feel the benefits that the Cooperative Farmers receive compared to the Independent Farmers.

During the development of the game and the final discussion, we could see that the children felt the unfair distribution of money, the injustice imposed on farmers by big companies, and the benefits of buying fair trade.

The members of the ESD and the school are very satisfied with the results of the game based on feedback from the teacher and students. Now we are thinking about the possibility of adding a whole new session to the program specifically for The Fair Trade Cocoa Game.

Please contact us for more information. We are very happy to work with your school!!


Relief Shipment to MSTC

As you will probably be aware the Mwanza Sewing and Training Centre was destroyed by fire in July of 2013. The fire destroyed almost all of the inventory of sewing machines as well as all of the office equipment. Thankfully the enthusiasm and commitment of all the staff of the MSTC was undaunted and the building that housed the MSTC has been rebuilt – all that was needed was replacement inventory.

With that in mind we here at TFS worked liked dervishes to put together a shipment that was dispatched in October. The shipment contained 370 sewing machines, 10 knitting machines, 6 industrial machines, 35 treadle tops and a full consignment of office equipment. The shipment arrived at the end of December.

The job is not yet finished but thanks to everyones commitment and hard work, potential castastrophe has been averted. As ever, the work continues.

shipment october 2013

Container sent in October 2013

 Click here to see the pictures filling the container

TFS has a new representative in CADA

Tools For Solidarity was involved in the organisation Coalition of Aid and Development Agencies (CADA) in Northern Ireland from the very beginning. Nowadays we haven’t been so active but we are very excited because during the last monthly meeting one of our volunteers, Laura Rio, was voted to be a member in the board of CADA.

Laura Rio


Laura has a degree in Pedagogy from the University of Santiago de Compostela (Spain) and a master degree in Management of Sustainable Development from the University of Vigo (Spain). Currently, she is the coordinator of the Education for Sustainable Development in Tools for Solidarity. She has been a volunteer of TFS for about one and a half year.