Former CARS contributor Rick Cogbill, author of the popular Car Side column, is looking for automotive technicians and shop owners who want to donate time and equipment to change lives in the developing world.
Cogbill is the founder and mission director of Mercy Tech Mission, an organization that teaches skilled trades to people in a handful of nations where the only escape from poverty is through innovation and hard work.
“Our purpose is to take trained trades people out into developing countries and teach the skills that we’ve been given to people that don’t have access to those kind of skills,” he said.
He has suspended the Car Side column while he concentrates on increasing the scope and visibility of Mercy Tech Mission, recruiting volunteer instructors, and putting donated tools and equipment to good use in Africa and Baja Peninsula.
Using a combination of classroom teaching and hands-on learning, Mercy Tech has provided skills training in areas such as automotive mechanics, carpentry and wood turning, welding, electrical, machining and concrete work.
“The mission started in 2011. We make about four or five trips a year, and our volunteers have come from all across Canada,” Cogbill said. “We would love to see more shops take us on as monthly donors, as part of their social responsibility program. The funds raised would be put to good use.”