VOLUNTEERING

        
      Don Morgan  -  Author

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Further books to come

Volunteering in Tanzania

 

                                An Adventure in Gambia

 

The wonderful cultural involvement that Don experienced when he volunteered in Brazil to teach English (as outlined in his first book “Volunteering in Brazil”), further fuelled his interest in helping communities with critical social needs.

In `Volunteering in Tanzania`, Don used his skills as a writer and photographer to record and report on educational establishments, primary schools as well as charitable institutions such as orphanages for `Art in Tanzania`. A non-governmental organisation (NGO), `Art in Tanzania` welcomes volunteers and interns to participate in community led projects, particularly in the growing need for education of the poor.

Tanzania is one of the poorest countries in Africa yet Don witnessed and recorded the significant steps that the government is taking to bring education to the poorest. International volunteers provide much needed help in teaching English in the schools, in particular, instructing young adults in the prevention of HIV/AIDS. They also cared for the elderly and young children in various charitable institutions and orphanages. Don`s photo-journalistic reports were published in the organisations online magazine aimed at the younger generation.

The book is vividly illustrated with colour photographs, including those from his weekend in the historic island of Zanzibar, infamous for its involvement in the slave trade.

 

 

Don seems to have a knack of getting involved with the culture of  a country as you may have read in `Volunteering in Brazil` and `Volunteering in Tanzania`.  His quest for travel and photographic opportunities was not the main reason for going to The Gambia in March 2011. It was to escape from the freezing weather in England when everything froze in extremes of temperature. Chesham, his home town, was at one time the coldest place in the country.

It did not take Don long to get involved in the local culture of this ex British colony that gained independence in 1965. He met a local `bumpster`, a non-official guide who preys on unsuspecting tourists. Bumpsters are well versed in the country`s historic past and Gambia`s infamous culture.  For 6 days Don was shown around the country and introduced to many aspects of its culture, including a Gambian funeral, when his guide`s father died. The only payment his guide required was for a sack of rice for his babies – for the whole week.

Another highlight of Don`s tour was a visit to the island of Alfreda, also known as `Roots`, to visit the home of the ancestor of Alex Haley who traced his heritage and history to this slave island. Some of this history was popularised in the Alex Haley book and TV series `Roots` which was set in the Gambia, when the main character was known as `Chicken George`. As with Don`s previous books `An Adventure in Gambia` is vividly illustrated with colour photographs which shows not only the culture of `The Gambia`  but also the extreme poverty of this developing country.         

 View the vibrant photographs of these placements, culture and environments in Galleries