MTM Director Rick Cogbill talking with staff of Mercy Air
Director and Founder: Rick Cogbill is a licensed automotive technician and former shop owner with over 30 years experience in the aftermarket automotive repair industry.
He is also a freelance writer and author, as well as a humour columnist.
monthly column The Car Side has been appearing in national automotive trade journals across Canada since 1998, and also appears in the online version of Motor magazine
, the largest automotive trade journal in the United States.
Rick Cogbill Turkana District, Kenya
wife, Nan, first went to Africa in 1985, where they spent two years working in Northwest Kenya among the Turkana tribe.
oversaw all vehicle maintenance and repair for an ongoing building and relief project operated by Africa Inland Mission (AIM).
During that time he
worked closely with his
local staff, teaching them the basics of mechanical repair and maintenance.
experienced first-hand the impact of helping local workers learn or improve their trade, and how such training increased their ability to provide for themselves and their families.
Upon returning to Canada, Rick
eventually opened his
own automotive repair business, which he
operated for many years before selling it in 2000 so that he
could concentrate on a new phase of his
automotive career, that of writing for automotive trade magazines and other publications.
In the spring of 2010, Rick
once again had the opportunity to travel to Africa, this time to Mozambique, where he
spent a month working ASAM
, a Canadian missionary organization based near Chimoio. (You can read about Rick's trip in this blog)
Rick Cogbill repairing a generator in Mozambique
During that time, Rick
repaired a number of vehicles, generators and motorcycles, all the time teaching his
assigned helpers the basics of automotive mechanical repair.
Not only did he
see the desperate need for training in basic mechanical skills, but in other trades as well, such as masonry and carpentry.
was surrounded by scenes of building projects in various stages of construction - health clinics, staff housing, church training centres - many of them at a standstill because of a lack of trained builders who could oversee the projects to completion.
Hence, the vision for Mercy Tech Mission
Dust On My Shoes by Rick Cogbill