Hartlepool man Adrian is back from amzing African adventure

A former Hartlepool student has returned home after helping to improve the lives of people in one of Africa's most deprived areas.

Monday, 30th January 2017, 11:00 am
Updated Monday, 30th January 2017, 11:21 am
Adrian poses for a photograph with the children of Tanzania.

Adrian Gray, who completed his Level 3 carpentry apprenticeship at Hartlepool College of Further Education, used his skills to help build toilets and water sanitation in Tanzania.

The 21-year-old set off on his three-month adventure of a lifetime in September.

He returned home last month to reveal a wealth of experience.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Along with 95 other UK volunteers, Adrian travelled to Dar es Salaam where he took part in two projects. One was Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) and the other was Livelihoods.

His team was made up of eight UK volunteers as well as eight Tanzanian volunteers. Between them, they taught children about the importance of sanitation and hygiene and they built toilet blocks for a local dispensary.

During his stay, Adrian lived with a local family, which included six children.

He explained the conditions that he faced on his amazing stay.

Adrian, who hails from Hartlepool, said: “It was very basic living and quite chaotic. I had to adapt to no electricity, getting water every day from a well in the garden as well as a bucket shower outside without a door or roof and the toilet was scoop and flush with water from the well.”

Before Adrian embarked on his adventure, he raised £800 by gardening and doing household tasks for friends.

He sold his own carpentry and wood-turning products and other sponsorship activities, to go towards improving the lives of people in Tanzania and for other young people to go on the same journey.

He said: “This was an eye opening experience and it made me appreciate the things we take for granted.”

Adrian took part in the project through International Citizen Service (ICS), which is a programme that enables 18-25 year olds to volunteer overseas.

Now that Adrian has returned, his journey doesn’t stop there, as he hopes to take part in action at home.

He plans to raise awareness to help inspire other young people to get involved with the project and to challenge themselves to change the world.