My time volunteering
Maths and science teacher for 1 year at Lira Technical School, teaching for ‘City and Guilds’ exams for future painters, carpenters and mechanics
The impact of my placement
I helped several dozen students to get the qualifications that would enable them to get better-paid employment than in agriculture. (Unfortunately, Idi Amin and then the Lords Resistance Army later destroyed the local economy – and perhaps some of my former students too.)
My unforgettable moments
Hitching to Machakos, Kenya to join a fellow volunteer to ride by motorbike to Oloitokitok and then to climb Kilimanjaro.
The impact my placement has had on me
It gave me the confidence to deal with unfamiliar situations, and the resilience to handle set-backs; and it taught me how poverty limits opportunities in so many peoples’ lives. My time in East Africa also kindled a career-long interest in overseas assignments: in the next two decades I worked for short periods in Nigeria, Ivory Coast, South Africa, Gabon, Angola, Liberia, Morocco, Egypt, Vietnam and Singapore.