Ethiopians use curved swords to fend off wild animals. Cambodians use double-handled saws to make felling trees easier. Whatever the need, men, women, and children in our partnered communities have a tool for the task. Check out some of the tools they use everyday!
The mencha is a standard tool used in Ethiopian households. It’s used to cut bananas from a tree, trim grass in the front yard, and even protect the family from wild animal attacks. The mencha’s curved blade gives it greater cutting power than a regular straight blade, making it more versatile for day to day use.
Pou Thao & Deak Kool (axes & nails)
Axes can be used instead of hammers to drive nails into wood. For many Cambodian builders, having a tool that can both make adjustments to the wood (sharp end) and drive nails into the wood (blunt end) is a major point of convenience. It makes the individual an independent worker.
Kor Yun (walking tractor)
Farmers worldwide are known for their ingenious, makeshift contraptions. Farmers in Cambodia are no exception. This walking tractor, translated literally, “cow machine,” helps Cambodian farmers plow their fields quickly and efficiently. Farmers in Cambodia have used it in rice fields for nearly 20 years. But it also has a second use—transportation. Tires can be replaced and the kor yun can be attached to a cart.
The ipanga is a common household tool used to cut through pretty much anything. Got a dead tree in the yard that needs to come down? Done. Have shrubs or bushes to prune in the garden? Can do. Need to chop up fruit to feed your two-year-old? There’s no tool more versatile than the ipanga.
Kolosh (water pot)
For many families in rural Bangladesh who can’t access clean water nearby, the kolosh is indispensable. Families use it daily to collect and store water for use at home. The tapered neck and spout serve to keep water in, while also making pouring easy. They’re a dime a dozen in rural areas and almost every family has one.
The koto is used in Ethiopia to chop and harvest wood. It’s a versatile tool, helpful in splitting logs, and cutting sticks and twigs. The koto is important to every member of the family; mothers, fathers, and children alike use it often daily to collect wood to fuel the family's kitchen and heat their home.
Ror Na Thnou (wood saw)
Wood saws are a relief for those who commonly use axes to cut down trees. Two people work together, each grasping a handle at opposing ends of the saw to quickly rip through a tree. These saws empower women in particular, to engage in the lucrative work of tree cutting.
Ignira (plastic tarp)
The igunira is a multi-purpose material used during harvest time and in construction. As a tough fabric, it’s a convenient way to bundle vegetables and other crops for transport. Slow to biodegrade, it’s also used to keep dirt and other materials in place when building outdoor structures like keyhole gardens.
Bak (carrying stick)
Simple and intuitive, the bak is a long stick used to manually haul large loads. In Bangladesh, the bak is commonly used with large baskets to carry fish, food, or other materials from place to place. It makes it possible for multiple people to carry goods together, lightening the workload for everyone.
The shitiyo is a basic tool used all over Rwanda. Where would we be without the good ‘ol shovel for all manner of holes? Builders love it for moving gravel and sand and mixing it with cement. Farmers love it because it moves soil and manure from place to place, as well as planting fruit trees or tree lines to combat erosion.
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