A University of Northampton lecturer has been appointed as an ambassador for charity Save the Children.
Margaret Berrill, who is an Associate Lecturer in Human Resources Management and Organisational Development, signed up for the voluntary role earlier this year, before getting to see first-hand how the charity is making a positive difference in East Africa.
Speaking about her trip to Tanzania, which took place in October, Margaret said: “I was impressed by the way the organisation works closely with country’s Government to support continuing development of the social infrastructure, the nature of which we simply take for granted here in the UK.
“I could see that they work hard to ensure projects are aligned with the country’s strategic aims and direction, and also to lobby at ministry level concerning areas of need identified by field workers.
“As you might imagine, financial and cultural issues have to be addressed with great sensitivity. Critically though, projects are planned with sustainability in mind so that when funding comes to an end, the benefits continue.”
On the island of Zanzibar, Margaret found out about a health and nutrition project and met a group of mothers and babies, while a community health volunteer trained by Save the Children gave an interactive briefing on the benefits of breast feeding over bottle feeding.
She also visited a children’s rights centre on the island, which is a child-friendly court room and a confidential one stop centre for victims of abuse and sexual violence
In south western Tanzania, Margaret visited a primary school and a village where women have been trained to run their own savings and loan club, as part of an economic empowerment project.
Margaret now plans to share her experiences with colleagues at the University and other organisations to promote the charity’s work.
You can read her blog about the trip here.