Ulusha Labadidyeli (Youth Inventors and Makers)
We have 29 trainees hired through the Youth Employment Services (YES) program. These trainees have had no previous work experience. From the 29 trainees, 11 are being trained in woodworking skills and 8 in crafting from waste materials. The aim of this program is to provide them with actual practical skills of how to create simple products from waste materials with the ultimate goal of providing them with a small enterprise to sustain their living.
USE-IT has partnered with Heart Eco, (who reclaim timber from packing crates) to ensure continued wood supply. Heart Eco collects the used packing crates from Man Trucks, who import engine and gearbox parts from Germany and Mexico. These crates are then stripped and denailed and the wood is then resold into the marketplace. However, there are certain parts of the crates that are not resaleable, this wood usually goes to waste.
The wood workers are currently using a jig saw, small drilling machine, a grinder and a cut off mitre saw to manufacture products. There are no vices, planners, sanders, clamps or jointers. There is no budget for sealer, varnish or any finishing products for completed items.
This is far from ideal when looking into quality finishes for potential commercial enterprise development, although they are trying their utmost to get as good a quality finish as possible utilising the equipment available. They are dedicated and passionate about what they are doing, and this shows in the type and range of items they are creating utilising minimal equipment.
However, this has enabled the trainees to realise that good strong items can be produced from what would otherwise be construed as waste material, without having to have massive capex to start a business.
We are looking for funding to purchase the tools, equipment and finishing materials to further develop these creations so they can be competitive and of acceptable quality to supply to retail stores.