John Topham

Summerland charity completes trip to Africa

Members of the Mercy Tech Mission have returned from southern Africa, and are seeing lasting results from their efforts.

  • Aug. 21, 2012 1:00 p.m.

Mercy Tech Mission has returned from southern Africa, and according to founder and director Rick Cogbill, they are seeing lasting results from their efforts.

“Our goal is to fight poverty worldwide by passing on our skills to others, so that they can get good jobs, and thereby provide for their families. This was my fourth trip to Mozambique, and the progress is phenomenal. Our maintenance shop project is well underway, and the students from our training programs are already using their new-found skills on a daily basis.”

Cogbill was in Mozambique for the months of April and May of this year, and was joined by local Summerlander and Rotarian John Topham for the month of May. “John organized a woodworking training project centered around a wood lathe. The products made on this machine will not only be useful in the homes and the primary schools of that area, but also could be sold to the public, providing another source of income to these wonderful, but impoverished people.”

Although the donated wood lathe was shipped months ahead of the Mercy Tech trip, it became bogged down in customs and import issues, and didn’t arrive at the mission base in time to be used.

“But it’s now delivered and set up, and John is already making plans to return to pick up where he left off with his woodworking students.”

Other Summerland residents who have travelled to Africa with Mercy Tech Mission include builder Bob Denesiuk, and Cogbill’s daughter Laura.

“These visits to rural Africa are life-changing,” Cogbill said. “Everyone who has gone has expressed interest in returning. They see how much the people appreciate it when someone comes to share what they know, with no strings attached.”

Already plans are under way for a fifth trip, possibly in March of 2013. “Bob and I want to finish the maintenance shop,” Cogbill said. “It will become the center for our automotive training in that area.”

Mercy Tech is also investigating other locations where their skills training programs can be utilized. “We will continue at our current site in Mozambique as long as we are useful there, but already other organizations are asking us to consider working with them.” Those requests, along with the number of new volunteers stepping forward to help others in need, show that Mercy Tech Mission is experiencing a time of growth.

The rural people in Mozambique are desperate for knowledge, often making great sacrifices to attend the training times.

“They’ll travel for hours just to be there when our classes start.”

Cogbill appreciates the interest and support he has received from Summerland and beyond.

“Sometimes we think it’s ‘other people’ who will change the world, but it’s not true; we can all make a difference. Whether through Mercy Tech, a service club, or a local church, the main thing is that we do something. Let’s face it, we don’t choose where we’re born; it could just as easily be us growing up in the African bush. The least we can do is give something back and change a life, or even a whole community.”

For more information on Mercy Tech Mission and their projects, please visit their website at www.mercytechmission.com.

 

Just Posted

Nomination period closes for Summerland Chamber awards

More than 130 submissions received for 81st annual Business and Community Excellence Awards

Death Café returns to Okanagan

Vernon, Kelowna and Summerland events toast touchy subject

Highway 97 rock slide north of Summerland beginning to stabilize

Costs of road work so far estimated at between $300,000 and $350,000

Family Day long weekend expected to be sunny and cool in South Okanagan

Flurries forecasted for the first half of the weekend, followed by bluebird skies and milder temps

More snow on the way for Okanagan-Shuswap

Up to 5 cm of the white stuff could fall across the Okanagan - Shuswap on Friday

VIDEO: Canada’s flag turns 54 today

The maple leaf design by George Stanley made its first appearance Feb. 15, 1965

Expect delays on Highway 1 west of Golden due to vehicle fire

Expect delays while driving Highway 1 between Golden and Revelstoke. Drive BC… Continue reading

Eight cases of measles confirmed in Vancouver outbreak

Coastal Health official say the cases stem from the French-language Ecole Jules Verne Secondary

Semi loses control on Highway 97A in Shuswap

Slippery roads contribute to crash of transport truck carrying tires

Plecas won’t run in next election if B.C. legislature oversight reforms pass

B.C. Speaker and Abbotsford South MLA says he feels ‘great sympathy’ for Jody Wilson-Raybould

Infighting at Kelowna Yacht Club makes it to court

Marc Whittemore, a local lawyer and prominent member of the club, filed a notice of civil claim Feb. 1

Workshop with ‘accent reduction’ training cancelled at UBC

The workshop was cancelled the same day as an email was sent out to international students

Former B.C. premier Gordon Campbell accused of sexual touching

Accuser went to police, interviewed by Britian’s Daily Telegraph

Most Read