A Staffs Uni graduate has set off to Mongolia to continue his fantastic record of voluntary work, after finishing his degree and co-founding new organisation, First Aid Africa.
Mike Taylor worked with friend Sam Abrahams to set up the company, teaching high school students in local communities to deliver first aid to their peers, eventually sharing knowledge with other people from surrounding communities.
The aim is for first aid know-how to be passed from children to parents in the future, saving millions of lives in regions where no official medical help is available.
Mike, 23 from Liverpool, decided that he wasn’t going to go to University while he was studying for his A Levels. Instead, he signed up to work for in Moshi, Tanzania, for eight months with a group of volunteer teachers.
Mike’s father was originally from Tanzania and Mike soon took to the work and the country, picking up new skills while teaching English to the local community.
After spending a further four months travelling through Kenya, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Malawi, Mike decided to head home and go along to University with the rest of his friends, but with a new understanding for Africa and its problems.
He went through the Clearing process to secure a place on Staffordshire University’s Ba(Hons) Modern and Popular History award. Now, three years later and with the Ray Jenkins Prize for his outstanding work under his belt, Mike is back on the voluntary beat.
He said: “I came home and get a degree as I wanted to make myself employable and have always loved history. I wasn’t sure what I would do once I had finished but I knew I wanted to carry on working as a VSO as it is so rewarding and you meet some brilliant people and have such memorable times.”
“In 2007 Sam had a brainwave about setting up First Aid Africa, so because of my past experience, he came to me for help. We are both really passionate people who care about the project – many regions in Africa, including Tanzania, have no national health service and it’s easy to forget how lucky we are in this country.”
“With First Aid Africa, we can teach hundreds of high school students basic first aid. Eventually we want it to be ‘Global First Aid’, but for now, we are completely self funded as we have not yet reached charity status, so we really rely on our volunteers to fund the project and make it a success.”
After his successes at home and abroad, Mike has realised his true potential and despite being in Mongolia for the foreseeable future, he hopes to return to University to complete a Masters in International Development.
“I’m so glad I came back to England to do a degree,” he said. “It has helped me so much during the planning of First Aid Africa and understanding the region we are focused on. The tutors were excellent and winning the Ray Jenkins Prize was a great achievement – the whole experience has been fantastic and I can’t wait to get over to Mongolia and start putting my knowledge to good use!”
University Communications Manager
2 Winton Square
t: +44 (0)1782 294345