Mansfield engineer moving to Africa for two years to build schools

Nick Collins will be travelling to Africa for two years to oversee the construction of 53 schools later this month
Nick Collins will be travelling to Africa for two years to oversee the construction of 53 schools later this month
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New challenge awaits for the man who is packing up his life to oversee the building of 53 schools in Malawi, in southeastern Africa.

Nick Collins, of Leeming Lane South, will be jetting off to start his new life for two years on Monday, January 18.

He will be a Malawian Ministry of Education as a VSO International volunteer on a school building programme.

The 31-year-old said: “I’m really excited about this, I know it is a long time but when I signed up for the programme I anticipated it would be at least an 18-month project so I can really make some difference over there.”

His job will involve sourcing materials, supervising the construction of 53 schools and learning Chechewa the national language of Malawi.

The schools being built will rely on solar panels for power.

Nick, who became a chartered engineer in 2013, said: “This will mean the schools can use tablets which will be vital for the children’s development.

“There is an app which can teach maths to the children, and some of the classes will have 100 pupils or more, so this is an easy way to educate a great number of people.

“Using this new method, research shows children’s education leaping forward by 18 months in just 6 weeks.”

Nick has previously done work overseas and helped out with the 2009 swine flu epidemic.

“I like being able to give back to people.”

He applied back in the summer when he felt ready for his life to head in a new direction.

After interviews and online courses with the Voluntary Service Overseas he is now ready to go.

“My family are proud of me, and I will miss them but this is something for me to go out and enjoy.

“My mum is a bit apprehensive but what mum wouldn’t be?”

Nick’s placement has been paid for by the VSO but the charity has asked him to fundraise to cover the cost of the next recruit who will need training and visas at a cost of £985.

To donate to Nick’s cause click HERE