Topham returns to Mozambique

Several Mozambican young men have recently learned how to turn waste-wood remnants into bowls, plates, and other useful items.

Gabriel

Several Mozambican young men have recently learned how to turn waste-wood remnants into bowls, plates, and other useful items, thanks largely to the on-going efforts of local artist and woodturner, John Topham.

Earlier this year, a new wood lathe was purchased and shipped to Mozambique for the purpose of teaching life-changing skills to local people. The lathe was partially funded through the Summerland Rotary Club, and John, who is a Rotarian, travelled with Rick Cogbill of Mercy Tech Mission to central Mozambique to put the lathe into use.

Unfortunately, the lathe was held up in customs at the seaport of Beira for months, and did not arrive in time for the teaching sessions to begin. A month after Topham and Cogbill arrived back in Canada the lathe was finally released and delivered to the mission base where the men had been volunteering their time on other projects. Topham was already scheduled to travel to Liberia, West Africa in November, so he decided to make a side trip to Mozambique where he spent eight days training the local men on the new machine.

His two main students, Gabriel and Pindurai, were thrilled to gain the new skills and are eager to pass on to others what John has taught them. In rural Mozambique, jobs are difficult to find, so the products produced on this lathe will mean extra income that will assist the men in providing for their families.

“John’s willingness to serve the needs of others will have a long-lasting impact on the local people of Mozambique,” says Cogbill, founder and Executive Director of Mercy Tech Mission. “He is a great example of what Mercy Tech stands for, which is ‘Changing lives, one skill at a time.’ It was an honor to have him join us on our trip earlier this year.”

Mercy Tech Mission is a local non-profit organization that fights poverty in developing countries by teaching trades to the local people. Another Mercy Tech team will be returning to Mozambique in March 2013, where, among other things, additional lathe training will be conducted by volunteer Bob Denesiuk, one of John Topham’s woodturning students here in Summerland. More information can be found about Mercy Tech’s work on their website at www.mercytechmission.com.

 

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Summerland Blossom Youth Ambassador Program to hold coronation

Event will be held by video as a result of COVID-19 precautions

Pooch abandoned at Penticton doggy daycare suffered from oral disease

A fundraiser for Okie held by the BC SPCA surpassed its goal of $1,700

Summerland to allow in-person attendance at July 13 council meetings

Two meetings will be held at Summerland Arena Banquet Room to accommodate public

Ryga Arts Festival to include virtual and in-person events

Arts festival in Summerland will run from Aug. 15 to 23

Okanagan and Shuswap MPs want federal funds to help stop invasive species

Concerns raised that spending favours Eastern Canada.

B.C. sees 25 new COVID-19 cases, community exposure tracked

One death, outbreaks remain in two long-term care facilities

VIDEO: Vancouver Island cat missing 18 months reunited with family

Blue the cat found at Victoria museum 17 kilometres from home

COVID-19 cases identified in Kelowna, after public gatherings

Those who were downtown or at the waterfront from June 25 to July 6 maybe have been exposed to COVID-19.

VIDEO: Alberta man rescues baby eagle believed to be drowning in East Kootenay lake

Brett Bacon was boating on a lake in Windermere when he spotted the baby eagle struggling in the water

Vernon shutterbugs capture rainbow

A rain event July 9 made way for a glorious sight

Couple shaken up after homophobic encounter at Kelowna mall

‘We’re not in the States; we’re not in some little hick town; we’re in Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada. And it still happens’

Fundraiser kicks off for Lake Country families displaced by house fire

A GoFundMe campaign has been launched to raise $5K for those who lost everything in early morning blaze

Rescued hawk returned to Lumby skies

A rehabilitated Swainson’s hawk was returned to its Rawlings Lake habitat

Conservationists raise concerns over state of care for grizzly cubs transferred to B.C. zoo

‘Let them be assessed now before their fate is sealed,’ urges B.C. conservationist Barb Murray

Most Read