Words can’t describe the experience of volunteering in Malawi. I enjoyed every second of it and hope to go again in the future. From day 1 we started learning Chichewa (the main language spoken in Malawi) and a little about the culture and African music by meeting a chief and an artist. Dan Javed
Learning Chichewa next to the pool at Fisherman’s Rest
Staff at Fisherman’s Rest giving language lessons
I teach on cell biology, human genetics and cancer biology modules in the Department for Applied Sciences & Health (DASH). I have organised a work experience trip to Malawi (first one in August 2014) using contacts and experience from my field work in Africa and started this DASH to Africa blog to engage all our students (and others) in our international engagement.
More about my research: studies on the genetic condition albinism in Zimbabwe, South Africa, Malawi, Zambia and Ghana have been wide reaching with multiple partners and funders. Information has been gathered on the frequency of albinism in different populations, mutations in the gene causing the condition, sun protection strategies adopted to reduce the risk of developing sun induced skin damage, health (especially genetic) care for this vulnerable group, education (mainstream versus special schools) and social perceptions (and misconceptions) about albinism in African communities. These multi-faceted studies have been enriched by collaborations with local albinism associations in Africa and. I have also been privileged to meet many families with albinism.