First shipment to our project in Uganda

Hello everybody

We are excited because last Thursday 27th of November we sent the first container to our project in Uganda, the “Artisans Support and Training Centre” (ASTC). We expect that in the middle of January the container will be arriving to Uganda, just when our partners John and Francesca are going to give support and advice to the WORI people in the building of the workshop. Before, on 21st of December, our partner Simon will be coming back to Uganda after the three months training in the Belfast workshop. For that purpose, we sent in this container 55 sewing machines, about 6000 tools, all the indispensable materials for training (like cloth, thread and books) and 7 bicycles which will be used by the mechanics who Simon will train when he will be back in Uganda. That mechanics won’t probably live near the workshop, so TFS want to provide them the transport to it according with the ethics of the organization about the respect of the environment.

10712677_742024535847490_6847254102428500444_oWe don’t want to forget that this container was dedicated to the memory of Natania Hagen, who was a TFS Downpatrick volunteer until a few months ago. It was a very special moment to have their family and friends with us in the shipment and we want to say thanks again to them. We did a little tribute to her in the container painting.Natania's family

Finally, we want to talk you about the day of the shipment because we had the company of representatives of the Ugandan and Chinese community in Northern Ireland, the Falls Women Centre and the NI parliament representative Anna Lo as well. We wanted to use the shipment for say no to racism and promote the elimination of walls between cultures, ethnicities, religions and every human group. We spent a very good time together and we expect to do it again in the future. 10613005_893394997338328_2486099630514134846_n

The next moths will be interesting and very important for TFS with the beginning of the work in the ASTC and we will inform you about everything.


World Press Photo contest in Belfast from 18th to 23th of November

Hello everybody!

In two weeks, from the 18th to the 23th of November, World Press Photo contest will take place on Elmwood Hall, Queen’s University Belfast. We recommend that you not miss the opportunity to go to the world’s leading international contest for photojournalists.

01_john stanmeyerWorld Press Photo is a inspirational exhibition of photojournalism about social issues. They also have a serie of events for the hole week. You can’t miss it! Also, is a very important occasion for Tools For Solidarity, because we are the event’s charity partner and Stephen Wood will be there on Tuesday talking about trade justice and sharing our knowledge with everybody there. So, we wait all of you.

Have a look on their website!


Last Shipment to MSTC

Hello to everyone!

As you probably know, we had a shipment last week. Tools For Solidarity sent his 9th container to the MSTC (Mwanza Sewing and Training Centre). It was quite a bit of hard work for all of our volunteers because of the moving to the new workshop, so we are delighted to archive both at the same time.


This shipment contained 270 sewing machines, included 10 knitting machines that are going to be used by people with disability, 7 industrial machines and much more working material which included tools, books and spares for the MSTC. We are also already thinking about the next shipment next month, which will be our first container to our new project in Uganda with The Women Rights Iniciative (WORI). So, you will have news very soon!

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Also, there has been a lot of changes in the last few months in TFS: we had leavings and arrivals, so in the next days you will have the opportunity to say goodbye and hello to our former and new volunteers. 

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.

Social Events for the TFS Anniversary

Hello to everyone!!

Ready for the 30th ANNIVERSARY OF TOOLS FOR SOLIDARITY? Here we send you the Social Events.

Again, we ask to spread the word and feel free to print the flyer and put it out for display! You only have to click on the flyer.

We hope to see you all there!

social events TFS Anniversary

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!!


TFS is going to Africa!

On the 12th of July, two TFS volunteers will be leaving for a field trip to Tanzania and Uganda. Francesca and Stephen have been preparing for this trip for months to make sure that our work here in Belfast best meets the needs of artisans in East Africa.

Francesca and Stephen
Francesca and Stephen

During the first week they will be visiting the MSTC project in Mwanza where they will meet with the local partners and staff to discuss the programme and future plans.

During the second week they will travel to Jinja, Uganda where TFS is looking to establish a tools centre in partnership with WORI. They will be meeting with the mechanic and the manager of the programme to discuss the implementation of a programme to support artisans in the Busoga sub-region of Uganda.

During these two weeks they will be visiting some tailors and artisans groups that TFS has supported in the past to assess the effectiveness of the programme and the training.

We wish them good luck on their travels! We will tell you all the details when they come back.