A VOLUNTEER is helping a charity mark 45 years of supporting girls’ education, livelihoods and accessing clean water.

Kevin Curley, 67, from Pickering, started volunteering for the Tanzania Development Trust (TDT) after retiring from a career in charity management.

Kevin, who works as a project officer for TDT, alongside his wife, Penny, visit Tanzania every year for a month to assess projects and ensure the rights for women and girls.

He also supports the Pickering Family Centre, which provides free respite breaks for families affected by brain injury.

“I first came to Tanzania in 1988 with my wife Penny to lead the British volunteer programme called VSO,” said Kevin, who was awarded a CBE for services to the voluntary and community sector in 2012.

“For the next four years, we were deeply affected by the humanity and self-sacrifice of the Tanzanian people.

“We went to Tanzania as a professional couple not intending to have children, but the family focus there convinced us to start a family.

“After four years, we came home in 1992 with a baby and a toddler. Both girls are now committed international volunteers.

“Twenty-eight years later I come to Tanzania every year for a month as a volunteer for TDT.

“It is the best part of my life now as an active pensioner.”

The Tanzania Development Trust, a volunteer-led organisation, has funded more than 607 projects, at a cost of £2.4 million, since it was founded in November 1975. It has helped more than 608,000 people to access education, healthcare, workshops and fight against female genital mutilation.

It is now appealing for donations to drill and construct boreholes with a rope pump to access clean water in remote villages.

“Your match funding can provide people with clean water on site,” said Janet Chapman, the trust’s chairperson. “With your help we can bring them water.

“It has been a privilege to have been volunteering for TDT for the last eight years, and to have seen first-hand the impact the projects we have funded are having in these remote regions, and meet the inspiring people running them.”

For more information, visit tanzdevtrust.org