Grandad John's dedicated to teaching young in Africa
TEACHER John Anderson has taught hundreds of young people how to keep the tourism trade alive in Tanzania.
The 75-year-old grandfather is a firm believer that 'having an education is vital to securing a job.'
And Mr Anderson's dedication to tourism education has now been recognised with a distinguished service certificate from the YMCA.
The Benhall man spent 40 years teaching catering in Gloucestershire before heading to the East African nation when he retired in 1999.
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The former lecturer at Gloucestershire College and the University of Gloucestershire first went on a three-month mission in Africa with the British Executive Service Overseas.
But he was asked to continue teaching in Tanzania and now works there for 11 months of the year.
The programme he runs offers over 17s somewhere to live and one or two year tourism and management courses in the town of Moshi.
The former chairman of the Cheltenham Harriers and Gloucestershire Amateur Athletics Club said: "It is rewarding. I struggled seeing the hardships that people have over there.
"It is rewarding work and leaves the youngsters with something very useful to build their futures on."
Mr Anderson teaches up to 100 students at a time and has become the director of education for the YMCA Tanzania.
He said: "I have built up relationships with hotels in the area and the students usually get jobs out of it.
"Tourism is vital to the economy as overseas visitors put in a lot of money. The economic down turn has affected the industry a little bit, but tourism is still very strong.
"A job can be the difference of survival in Tanzania and having an education is vital to securing a job."
The father-of-two said the Cheltenham community have been generous to his cause. Leisure@Cheltenham donate old equipment such as goggles and floats to help him teach the students to swim.
Anyone wanting to make donations can contact Mr Anderson on 01242 261161.