Friday, June 22, 2007

Another fantastic idea brought to you by AfriGadget



The knife-sharpening bicycle

Posted: 21 Jun 2007 11:57 PM CDT

Peter Kahugu of Banana Hill just outside Nairobi makes a living using his bicycle.

And no, he is not a professional cyclist.

AfriGadget reporter Afromusing and I had an opportunity to interview Peter who has modified his bicycle with a belt, a set of tensioning pulleys and a grinding stone to make it a knife-sharpening machine. By kicking the bike up onto its stand and engaging a gearing system, he is able to use "leg-horsepower" to drive a grinding wheel and sharpen knives while "on the move".

Peter has been at this for 2 years now and he makes about Kshs 500 ( app. 10 US$) a day by riding his mobile workshop from client to client sharpening all their knives as he goes. The grinding stone he uses has lasted an astounding 2 years and he has had to replace his drive belt a couple of times but that is as simple as cutting up a long strip of rubber from an old car or bicycle tire inner tube.

Be sure to click though on the image for video on YouTube of the Peter and his bike in action.

The knife-sharpening bicycle

Note from Nancy in Toi Primary, Kibera slums, Nairobi

...Wish list: calendars and maps of world, africa for classrooms.Nothing on walls or for reference. As we made the dolls and the boys made animals out of the material I brought- along with needles thread, embroidery thread and yarn for manes or hair- the students took the opportunity to sew the many holes in their sweaters.
I left needles and thread, etc with those that wanted it. - hope I have enough left for todays class.
I brought the beach ball world globes - one per class and they were wonderful for them.
They have nothing as you know.
All were very excited to learn to make better dolls/animals in hopes of selling them one day.
So, material and supplies for a classroom would be good. I might see if I can get more material for the teacher who is now turned on with the idea.
My class yesterday had 83 students - level 7 and always that many- it was a normal size class and incredible!
The children were beyond wonderful. Must run - ha no time.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Toi Primary

Nancy just sent these photos, shes been to a school in Kibera today, a slum of Nairobi. The students are in level 7 which is 7th grade, between 11 and 16 years old and all very very kind and loving. Thank you Nancy.

ACT on CO2 Carbon Calculator just advised me about the Carbon Footprint Calculator, designed to make it easier for individuals to consider their own impact on the environment, through the use of home electrical applicances, transport, etc. Its simple to use .. for more info go here and spread the word to all. Thanks to David Milliband, Secretary of State for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (UK)

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Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Fly with Emirates

We'd like to thank Emirates Airline for offering free excess baggage to our volunteers taking over donated classroom supplies and other items for the orphanages & schools, during this Summers volunteer programme.

Emirates have confirmed they will waive the charges on an extra 20kgs of baggage for a volunteer on their outbound flight, putting the authority into the booking so it will be seen by the check-in agents on arrival at the airport.

Thanks especially to Lesley Walsh at Emirates, Wilmslow UK

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Monday, June 18, 2007

Big thanks & favours

I really want to mention & recommend OneWorld.Net for the wonderful contribution they make. We recently partnered with them and they've given us such massive assistance. Thanks especially to Gabrielle Hamm, Partnerships Coordinator in London for listing our vacancies, our events, our website, no one could be more generous.

It doesn't surprise me that Kofi Annan recommends as one of his favourite websites, reflecting his belief that “information and communications technologies are enormously powerful tools for development.


Take a look at their main site and also the new an alternative to Rupert Murdoch's MySpace, focused on climate change. Our main project at the moment is promoting solar cooking, featuring soon on the site. How simple but effective the concept is, helping people, the environment, health, ecosystem all in one.

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We're fast approaching the start of
the Summer Volunteer Programme and we're still in negotiation for the
following projects, to run alongside Solar Cooking introduction and
promotion :

1. Kenyan Ministry of Health Dental Clinics to run at each host site.

2. Glyconutrient distribution to children

3. Malaria prevention education .. distributing literature and nets via KeNAAM

4. Sanitary pad distribution and education to young girls

5. Assistance with the incredible work carried out by V-Day

We hope to confirm our wishlist for the programmer shortly.

If we can help with any other projects during our 5 weeks programme let us know.

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