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African odyssey inspires Culdrose engineer

28 April 2016
An Aircraft Engineer from Royal Naval Air Station Culdrose, who rode a motorbike across Africa, has been inspired to take up a job with a leading international development charity in East Africa.

An Aircraft Engineer from Royal Naval Air Station Culdrose, who rode a motorbike across Africa, has been inspired to take up a job with a leading international development charity in East Africa.

Ex Royal Navy Chief Petty Officer Steve Houghton set off on his ‘African Odyssey’ of over 9000 miles just before Christmas, taking time off from his day job as a Merlin training designer with 824 Naval Air Squadron.

Steve was so taken by the sights and work carried out by the Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO) charity; he’s decided to take up a placement in Tanzania.  

They convinced me that volunteers could make a real difference by sharing their training and experience.

Officer Steve Houghton

“My solo motorbike journey across the continent covered over 9,000 miles, and I met so many amazing people working for Christian charities and development NGO’s fighting poverty,” said Steve.

“I’ve been sponsoring a teacher in Tanzania and went to the VSO country office to find out what they did.  I was very impressed with their work; they convinced me that volunteers could make a real difference by sharing their training and experience. 

“Recently VSO advertised a placement that matched my skill set, I applied and was pleased to be accepted for this post.”

Steve will be sharing his skills as an adult education specialist and electrical engineer, to train and support local instructors at colleges in the Lindi region of Tanzania. 

He is hoping to raise £985 for VSO, before starting his two year placement this May.  

Money raised will help VSO continue to send skilled volunteers, like Steve, to fight poverty in some of the world’s most deprived communities in Africa and Asia.

VSO Volunteers help strengthen health and education systems and develop employment opportunities by working with local partners who understand the needs and challenges of their communities.

VSO works in 31 countries where, last year, more than 2,600 volunteers made a positive difference to 1,950,000 lives. Thanks to VSO, 136,000 people have improved their skills, knowledge and expertise in the last year.

VSO places a wide range of professionals including Nurses, Teachers, Engineers and IT experts.

The impact of their skills on people’s education, health and employment, continues long after the Volunteer returns home.

To support work of VSO, and Steve’s fundraising challenge, please visit:  www.justgiving.com/Steven-Houghton2016

To read about his Motorbike Adventure, Google search for the Blog; Livingstone’s Wheels

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