We Can Do It Best Volunteer nomination for August

VSO volunteer Pat Gilhooley talks to some of the children during a lesson inside a model classroom in Finote Selam, Ethiopia.
VSO volunteer Pat Gilhooley talks to some of the children during a lesson inside a model classroom in Finote Selam, Ethiopia.
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She left her husband and her family for a year to dedicate herself to teaching children in Ethiopia.

Now, Patricia Gilhooley is preparing to return to life at Locks Heath Junior School after an extraordinary year in Africa. The 57-year-old from Fareham volunteered to teach in Africa through VSO UK which fights poverty in third world countries. Patricia says: ‘I came to Ethiopia for one year never having been to Africa at all. I’m a very normal primary school teacher in the UK, so I’ve taught children from reception through to year six.

‘You can hardly compare going to school in Ethiopia to the UK. Children here struggle to take a pen to school and lots of children don’t have the set textbook that they need for a subject.’ Patricia worked to support relationships between the town’s teacher training college and the town’s primary schools to help improve the quality of teaching.