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How we started

In 1984 APT was established by 3 engineers Rob Hitchings, Jim Tanburn and Mike Walsby (subsequently awarded the OBE for his work with APT) in the back of one of their garages.

They had seen for themselves the ingenuity and hard work of people overseas, and they were inspired to provide a little extra help – technical expertise and designs of tools and equipment for small enterprises, like clamps and metal sheet rollers.

APT trained people in many different countries – Antigua, Bangladesh, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Haiti, Jamaica, Kenya, Laos, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, The Philippines, Romania, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Vietnam, Yemen Arab Republic, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Kevin Whately and Jimmy Nail

APT supporters Kevin Whately and Jimmy Nail

“The under-fives have ready smiles, which light up their faces, but we can see the war experience etched on everyone else. There is a shadow on their faces, a solemnity or a slight sadness in the eye if they do smile. Looking round the little compound with its pleasant garden, you are jolted into reality by a ragged poster near the door warning the children not to pick up old mortars or grenades.”
Kevin Whately

Gradually the work became long term, and we built partnerships in specific countries. We widened and deepened our impact by tackling the root causes of poverty.

Throughout, we continued to provide practical help, building self reliance through focusing helping the poorest people obtain a livelihood.

Alongside this, acknowledgement of work by major institutional donors grew. Some  – like Comic Relief and the Big Lottery Fund have asked APT to show our work to others.

We are still small in the UK – this remains our aim – but our work overseas has expanded; and our long partnerships in a number of countries have enabled us to reach many more beneficiaries.

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