11th November 1999
STUDENT RETURNS FROM WAR-TORN ANGOLA
Six months spent in war-torn Angola was an eye-opening experience for a Hull student who visited the country to help with education projects.
Architecture student James Starky, from the University of Lincolnshire & Humberside, spent a further five months on an intensive training course to him prepare him for life in Cabinda, an isolated and impoverished province on the coast of Angola.
As part of a project run by the international organisation Humana People to People, James, from Folkestone Street, Hull, went over to Angola to work in a residential community college. It is the only one of its kind in the area, and James took on the task of teaching English to some of its 60 Portuguese-speaking students.
The college trains its students in agriculture and business skills to give them the best possible chance of finding work in the region. It is in a rural area and has very basic facilities and no running water.
“The five months I spent training for the trip really helped me to develop the team skills I needed to get through my time over there,” said James, who is 25. “Life in Angola is very different to our experience, but the people are the same. I wanted to help out in any way I could.”
With a civil war being fought just a few hundred miles away in the vast country, national government money for education and training is hard to come by.
James lived at the college with students and staff - outside of teaching hours he organised music and drama clubs and worked on fundraising projects to help the work continue in the future.
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