A FORMER teacher who turned his hand to charity work in one of the world’s most poverty-stricken countries has completed his mission.
Former De Aston School geography teacher David Young has travelled to Ethiopia in Africa for up to six months every year for the past 13 years, showing craftsmen and women how to use their skills to earn a living.
David, 47, from Market Rasen, has helped more than 100 people to earn a living from making things like pencils, coasters, zip pulls and balls. He has shown them how to improve their work and sell it on to make a profit.
He said: “I worked with small groups of people and helped them earn money. One thing about poverty is it’s partly a mind state. People sometimes don’t see things can change.
“I showed them how they could earn more money; I see this as my calling in life.
“I’ve worked with all kinds of craft producers and the work is now sustaining itself. I would like to go back in the future to see how they’re getting on and catch up with friends I’ve made.”
David said he would also like to help the artists to set up a shop to sell their work. At the moment their products are sold in other shops in Ethiopia and some are brought back to the UK to be sold here.
One of people David helped, Amlaku, said: “Before this I didn’t know that painting was my talent. But thanks to this guy, he saw my potential and encouraged me.
“My job at that time was on a sewing machine – which did not pay enough money for a living. Now work is wonderful.
“We always strive not just to make the best designs, but for top-quality production too.”