Therese's involvement with Kenya began over 15 years ago, whilst carrying out research projects on cultural transitions, responsible tourism, wildlife conservation and sustainable community development in the area.
Since graduating from BSc Eco Tourism at UCLan in 2007, Therese Green is in her second decade of running MaaChild, a charity with a clear purpose of providing Kenyan Children within the Maasai community with a chance of sustainable end to end education.
During regular UCLan field trips, Therese worked closely with the Maasai people in Southern Kenya. She noticed that Maasai children lacked access to secondary education.
This was what ultimately inspired the key aims and objectives of MaaChild, its purpose being to focus on providing long-term educational opportunities, supporting equality, and alleviating poverty through education and opportunity.
Now a thriving charity, MaaChild supports children from Maasai communities from its headquarters in rural Lancashire. Their programmes, which are ran entirely by volunteers, assist community, health, education, and environmental activities that improve the lives of children.
"It is a huge step but well worth taking and one you will never regret. Take the chance, dare to step out of your comfort zone and immerse yourself in the opportunities provided. When there are tough moments, dig deep and persevere to realise your dreams. The time spent at UCLan will add value and purpose to your life for sure."— Therese Green, BSc Eco Tourism Alumna
It was always Therese's ambition to work in the voluntary sector. Therese says her goals became achievable because of a trip to Kenya with the university.
Therese said: “I chose the field trip to Kenya as it provided me with the unique chance to engage and to learn both academically and practically at a local level. Furthermore, it equipped me with the skills to build MaaChild into the success it is today and the ability to share this process with dedicated friends and supporters in Kenya and the UK”.
Reflecting on her time on campus, Therese says that the teaching was “inspirational” and that the most enjoyable aspects of the degree course were the “strong focus on independent learning” as well as working in the field.
In terms of the decision to go to University itself, Therese has urged anyone debating the idea to take the risk and reap the rewards.