As trustee what is your role?
As trustees we’re ultimately responsible for making sure the charity is operating in a safe, legal, purposeful way in order to fulfil our mission. In practical terms this means that we steer and guide the charity through governance, risk, safeguarding and strategy. We do this while being mindful not to interfere with the day-to-day running of On Call Africa – the team, both in Zambia and the UK, are incredible capable and talented. I’ve got an additional role on the Risk and Audit Committee of the charity.
What do you do when you are not supporting On Call Africa?
My day job involves leading an organisation called Community Links in the UK. We are an east-London-focused directorate of a national charity called Catch22. We work across youth, employment, advice, health and community services, impacting the lives of 90,000 people a year. I hold a few other advisory positions including serving on the advisory committee of the Youth Endowment Fund and a cross-party cross-sector commission on the Welfare Benefits systems in the UK.
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Although I live in London, being a trustee of On Call Africa is a special honour for me, as I was born in Lusaka and still call Zambia home. At home in London, my wife and my young daughter Ottilie keep me very busy and I’m a keen rugby and golf fan.
Why is On Call Africa important to you?
We get to make a meaningful difference when it comes to tackling health inequalities in one of the most impoverished places in the world. A lot of people like me got lucky in the lottery of life by being born in to safe and secure environments where access to nutrition and health care was plentiful. I strongly believe it is our duty and a privilege to be able to help those less fortunate in whatever way that we can. On Call Africa helps in a meaningful and impactful way.
Volunteers are very important but why should someone join our volunteer programme?
I think what sets us apart is that we’re imbedded in the communities where we work, and that we’re a genuine development partner working along aside the Ministry of Health. All this means that our volunteers get to make a meaningful long lasting difference to peoples’ lives in the community.
What are you looking forward to most about being a trustee for On Call Africa?
A couple of things; engaging with my fellow trustees who are as passionate about making a difference as I am, and helping to shape and guide On Call Africa’s continued success and finally.
When was the last time you visited Zambia, and what did you do during your time?
I last visited Zambia in October 2018, and I am due to visit again in April 2022. The pandemic has made it challenging if not impossible due to restrictions. In terms of what I did during my last visit… the same thing anyone who goes back home to see their parents and siblings does. Lots of catching up with family, friends, and lots of food, and I even discovered Zambian wine for the first time in Livingstone.