My opportunities have allowed me to establish and run a small industrial consulting and training company in the North of Scotland, where I have lived for over 20 years with my wife Jill. I am also a member of the board of Moray College (a college of the University of Highlands and Islands) and a long time member of Fochabers Cricket Club. I still play cricket whenever I can and enjoy the occasional game of golf. I also enjoy reading and music and keep trying to play guitar and mandolin – with very limited success.
As I think of my involvement in Tanzania and Busega Scotland I hear myself asking,” How did I get to this point”?
Somehow all of my life seems to have been preparing me for the challenges faced in supporting vulnerable children and families in Busega. My adult life took me through spells of being a youth and community worker / teacher / full time mum of three/ support worker/union steward and manager of learning disability services. Returning from 5 years teaching in Africa in the early 80’s I involved myself in the Fair Trade Movement and Christian Aid work. African issues were always part of my consciousness. With retirement came the opportunity to return to Africa. I thought I could use my skills, do a little work and enjoy myself! When I met the Mayega Orphanage children for the first time in January 2014, I was compelled to respond to their obvious needs. They were hungry. As a Christian , how could I do anything else?
My name is Christine but I like to be called Chris, and I work for a charity organisation providing support to adults with a learning disability. I live in Elgin with my husband, and have two married daughters and three wonderful grandchildren. My family are very important to me and I like to spend as much time as I can with them. When I am not working I look after the children and enjoy taking them on various trips around the local area.
I have known Christine for many years now through working together, and met John when we started walking as part of a group preparing for the Moon Walk in Edinburgh several years ago. I found it very interesting when John and Christine related their experiences in Africa and when on retiring started to tell us about Tanzania. I was lucky in my life to be able to take time out from work when I started my family and throughout their lives was able to ensure that they had every opportunity to experience a wide range of activities and education. With this in mind I would like to help others to be able to have the opportunities that we take for granted.
Hearing about Busega Scotland coincided with recent retirement from teaching in Moray. I felt I might have something to offer, as improving educational attainment to enhance life chances has been central to my career . I first visited Tanzania 42 years ago (!) wet behind the ears with idealism. I taught in Kenya after graduating and have always felt connected to East Africa. Having known John and Christine for many years, and realising the very direct contact they have with the projects they are involved in, I am delighted to be involved.