Two weeks ago we formally launched our one-month intermediate course, aimed at keen woodworkers who want to advance their skills.

We now have our first student, Eion Gibbs from the north of Scotland, who is already feeling a growing passion for woodworking and who might sometime enrol in our professional course.

Eion is learning his new skills while recuperating from pneumonia working as a film cameraman in Tanzania.

He’s been filming with the charitable Kilimanjaro Project and Trees 4 Kilimanjaro, which are highlighting the enormous environmental damage that is being done to Africa’s largest mountain, and the surrounding farmers who depend on the mountain’s melt waters.

Mount Kilimanjaro provides a graphic picture of rapidly changing climates and environmental degradation.  Over the past 50 years, the glacier peaks of Mount Kilimanjaro have diminished by some 80%.

Global warming and rampant deforestation have caused critical changes in local weather patterns and rainfall around the mountain.  It’s estimated that a million trees are cut down each year in the Kilimanjaro Region alone – and a further 300,000 hectares per annum are being deforested in Tanzania to be used as firewood for cooking.

Eoin has been filming the lives of local people who depend on the mountain, and telling an unfolding story of impending crisis if Kilimanjaro’s glaciers disappear.

His work will be published on Voices of Kilimanjaro, to highlight the man-made nature of climate change and environmental damage, and what we can all do to stop and reverse the damage. Trees 4 Kilimanjaro, with public donation, aims to plant 50 million trees in the region.

Eion contracted pneumonia while in Africa, and isn’t allowed to fly until his lungs are clear of fluid.  By then, Eoin will have completed his course, and learned new skills that will last a lifetime.

When he does depart, we wish him well with his charitable work in Tanzania and for the success of the charities that are trying to do so much there.