My son, Jeff, has been in Togo (that's west Africa!) for nearly two years now with the Peace Corps. His "capstone" project is a tool library. We've been talking it over for a couple of months now, and it's finally happening. Here's what he's written:
A common complaint in my region is a lack of access to the tools necessary for construction projects, with tools such as wheelbarrows or sledgehammers being exorbitantly expensive for the average community member. This problem extends to other high-cost items such as corn shellers which mechanically remove the corn grains from the cob. In an effort to solve these problems while also encouraging village development, the Community Development Committee of my region and I are creating a tool lending service or €œ'Tool Library' that will rent, for a reasonable fee, construction tools and a corn sheller to members of the community. This Tool Library will provide these tools to all 6 of the villages in my region while also using the fees to provide funding for the Community Development Committee's projects. From these two goals we seek to encourage a development economy wherein development pays for itself by offering valuable services to members of the community. Out of this project, we seek to improve the village's capacity to drive its own development through supporting itself with much needed services.
He's looking for help...as in...funding. Can you donate?