Craftsman lends Skills
Steve Bowkett enjoyed working alongside locals helping them to rebuild their homes devastated by Typhoon Yolanda.
A furniture builder by trade and owner of Artesano in Fitzroy, New Plymouth, Mr Bowkett enjoys travelling to disaster areas around the world offering his skills.
“I’m New Plymouth born and bred and I’ve been a traveller for a long time. I have an affinity with other languages and other cultures,” he said.
Recently he returned from his latest mission where he helped after Typhoon Yolanda devastated the Leyte Islands in the Philippines.
“I saw the devastation on the news and straight away my heart went out to them. I started to think about what I could do and when,” said Mr Bowkett.
He always self-funds his own trip and then appeals to the community via his church and Facebook seeking donations to enable him to purchase supplies such as roofing iron, nails and plywood.
“I would like to do full-time mission work one day but in the meantime I’m supporting myself through my work and doing missions when I can. I receive great support from my church the NP Assembly who meet at the Beach St hall,” he said.
Mr Bowkett met up with Alex Gadian, a local youth pastor, and spent 10 days in Barangay 79 (similar to a NZ suburb) helping to rebuild 20 homes with materials they purchased and also distributed some school supplies.
“The aim was to help as many people as possible with my limited budget of $3,500 and to leave a good impression of NZ people,” he said.
He is now planning a return visit on February 20, 2015 and is looking for volunteers to join him.
If you are interested you can contact Steve Bowkett at Artesano, 43 Beach St, NP or call him on 027 755 1395.
This article was published in the North Taranaki Midweek Wednesday, July 30, 2014