Africa, Birthright and Calling
THE STORY OF HELEN VANSTONE, A HEAD TEACHER WHOM GOD CALLED TO UGANDA.
Helen Vanstone worked in Uganda for eight years as a voluntary head teacher at a Christian school. Earlier in her career in UK primary school education, she had faced a number of setbacks, including a poor Ofsted report, depression and bereavement. However, the opportunity in Africa turned her life around, fulfilling the calling she had received from God at a young age. Her experiences of living in a different culture and leading a school in Uganda are described with humour and honesty. They provide a unique insight into the challenges she faced, from confronting a deadly black mamba on her doorstep to introducing a more creative style of teaching within a rigid, exam-based curriculum.
Her love for and connection with the people of this nation are so strong that her African friends and colleagues consider she has a Ugandan heart inside a white body – the highest of compliments.
“Be challenged to step out of your own comfort zone.”
“Holly understands the true nature of mission.”
About the Author
Helen trained as a primary school teacher near Liverpool, returning to her Surrey roots to begin her first teaching job. Alongside class teaching, she was responsible for music throughout the school. As her career developed, she moved into managerial positions, culminating in headship of a junior school.
A personal crisis led Helen to consider leaving the UK to fulfil her ambition to live and work in Africa. In 2005 she moved to Uganda to help establish a primary school, where she remained for eight years. Since returning to the UK, Helen has continued to visit Uganda annually to provide both teacher and leadership/management training.
Feb 2018. Author spoke at a women’s event in Molesley.
Endorsements and Reviews
Andy Read, Former CEO, Links International
In my role leading a development charity, I saw and heard first-hand the impact Holly made in Uganda. The overwhelming sense is one of respect and love, born out of genuine partnership where she modelled those qualities herself. Holly understands the true nature of mission.
Former CEO, Links International
Samuel Kibuule, Ugandan Health Worker
If you are planning a short/long term trip to a developing country, I recommend you read this book. With humour and honesty, Holly shares the fun, challenges and diversity of living in Uganda. She understands and embraces the African way of life, always respecting and honouring their values and traditions.
Be challenged to step out of your own comfort zone.
Ugandan health worker, living in the UK
Jeff Lucas, Author
Not only is depression still greatly misunderstood by many, but some Christians feel that they can exempt themselves from its shadowy touch by pushing themselves to greater commitment and personal sacrifice. But as she writes with raw honesty and candour, Holly shows that heroes of the faith achieve great things, not because they don’t experience seasons of gloom, but because they endeavour to be faithful through those times.
Author, speaker, broadcaster