Help educate children in developing countries

Lessons for Life Representatives

Jan Bell

Janet Bell


In 2004 I went to Uganda, initially as a VSO volunteer working in Banunule Primary School for orphans in Kampala. After VSO, I stayed in Uganda for a total of four years. During this time I developed a sponsorship scheme which has sponsored 21 students in secondary school and/or vocational training. A small start which is now being continued and fantastically extended by Lessons for Life.

I have witnessed first hand the great need for support to have an education (something we take for granted) and the immense difference it is making to the lives of individuals, families and communities. I believe that education is a major factor in the development of Uganda and is essential for change.

I am now back in the UK and am still committed to supporting young people in Uganda to access education through my role as Ambassador for Lessons for Life.

Janet Sharp

Janet Sharp

VSO Volunteer in Kampala, Uganda

I was born in Liverpool but have lived in Cornwall for the past 10 years. Initially, I was a graphic designer and worked in advertising but in my late twenties I retrained to become a secondary school teacher. I spent 4 years teaching in Dorset and a further ten years in Cornwall. Nine of those years, I was head of department for design and technology. My teaching philosophy is to encourage pupils to solve problems without the fear of getting things wrong.

I took a year sabbatical to teach in a primary school in Tanzania, living in a Masai village and then in a nursery school in Gambia. Returning to the UK, I felt I still needed to be involved with education in underprivileged countries and decided to apply to VSO. Through this I was offered 3 jobs, one in Ethiopia, one in Cambodia and one in Uganda.

The Lessons for Life job in Uganda was my favourite choice because not only was it about education but it was about getting kids into school and enabling students to achieve an education they may otherwise not have. I feel privileged to be living and working here in Uganda, especially working with different projects, teachers and sponsored students and because I can see the difference we are making.