Volunteer Charles helps women in rural Africa

Charles Wood
Charles Wood

A former Caistor Grammar School pupil has spent three months in Africa working with a women and children’s humans rights group.

Charles Wood, who is from North Kelsey, lived in a rural area of Burkina Faso where he helped women to gain income and learn new skills.

He said: “My role included teaching the women drama, so that they could put on plays about issues like AIDS prevention, teaching them how to play football, and looking for international partnerships, for example looking for a buyer for the shea butter (used in moisturisers and soaps) they manufactured.”

Charles held workshops on environmental stability and talked to residents about ways to solve problems.

He said: “It was a mixture of hard work and fun practical lessons.”

The 22-year-old said he wanted to experience women’s rights in Africa at “ground level”.

And Charles said he heard some shocking stories about how women were treated by their husbands.

He said: “I’d love to go out there again.

“I’d encourage everyone to try it (volunteering).

“In three months I’ve founds myself grow a lot and learn a lot.

“How we’re shown Africa by people in the media and how the situation is, are not the same.

“People are willing to change.”

Charles studied politics at the University of Leeds and is now living in London.

He is looking to work for a lobbying firm working on issues at government or EU level.

Charles said: “My ultimate goals are to continue trying to change things for people less fortunate than I am, mainly through politics.”