Old VHS cases get upcycled into school study sets by Scottish volunteers for Kenyan children


A community in the Highlands of Scotland has come up with a way of re-using unwanted video and cassette tape holders.

Wendy Sutherland, from the village of Brora, was the brains behind the idea of  transforming them into pencil-cases, which are being snapped up by a charity which supports young children in Kenya.

The idea came about when Wendy’s parents, retired Free Church of Scotland minister Sandy Sutherland and his wife Jessie, had a clear-out before moving house recently. They found a number of old video and cassette tape holders and although reluctant to dump them in a landfill, were at a loss to decide what they could be used for until Wendy suggested that the video holders would make great pencil cases and the cassette holders could be inserted to hold chalks.

After 14-year-old Poppy Watson, the daughter of a family friend who had travelled to Kenya last summer, contacted the Amuka Foundation to find out if they could use the upcycled ‘VHS School Study Sets’, the idea was put into action.

Poppy was among a group of Scouts from the Highlands and Islands who spent three weeks in Kenya last summer working on a variety of projects in slum areas with the Amuka Foundation and the Kenya Scout Association. Following her return, she delivered a presentation to the East Sutherland Rotary Club where she illustrated how schools in the Nairobi slims were so short of resources they had to break pencils into four just to make sure pupils had something to write with and books shared between 60 children.

So far, the Sutherlands have made up 40 VHS School Study Sets, each crammed full with a chalk board, six chalks, a duster, black and white paper, eight crayons, 12 colour pencils , two lead pencils, an eraser, sharpener, paper ruler, small toy and sheet of stickers.

They are due to be collected in October and transported to Kenya.

If you are UK based and would like to put together your own VHS School Study Set to be sent out to Kenya, please contact Brora Village Hub on 01408 622312.

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