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DEVELOPMENT REPORT – July 29, 2002: Tools for Development - 2002-07-26

This is the VOA Special English Development Report.

Building things or making clothes can be difficult in developing countries, especially without the correct tools. However, an international humanitarian organization called CARE is trying to change this. CARE runs a special program called Tools for Development to help workers in developing countries.

The Tools for Development program sells used tools and equipment at low cost to people who have small businesses. The tools are priced low enough so that poor people can buy them.

Roy Megarry (Ma-GARY) started Tools for Development fifteen years ago. At the time, he was the publisher of the Globe and Mail, a Canadian newspaper. Mister Megarry got the idea for the program while visiting a technical training school for boys in Lima, Peru.

The Catholic priest who operated the school told Mister Megarry that the school needed equipment for its training program. Mister Megarry sent a letter to the president of Sears Company in Canada requesting help. The company gave equipment to the school in exchange for advertising in the newspaper. Today, Tools for Development receives free equipment and gifts from companies and organizations all over the world.

Since the program began, more than two-thousand people have purchased more than six-thousand tools and equipment. They paid a total cost of one-million-two-hundred-thousand dollars. Mister Megarry says at least ten-thousand jobs have been saved or created because of the program. Money gained from the sale of the tools is used for loans, training and shipping costs.

People can buy many kinds of equipment through Tools for Development. For example, there are tools for metal workers, shoemakers, pipe builders, clothing makers and people who fix vehicles. Some computers are also sold.

Tools for Development is currently operating in Ecuador, Costa Rica and Jamaica. However, CARE is hoping to expand the program to other developing nations. You can learn more about Tools for Development. Write to CARE Canada, the Globe and Mail newspaper, four-four-four Front Street West, Toronto, Ontario, M-five-V, two-S-nine, Canada. Or you can visit the CARE Canada Internet Web site at w-w-w-dot-c-a-r-e-dot-c-a.

This VOA Special English Development Report was written by Jill Moss.