Changemakers – Bron Lang
Monday, 8th October 2012 at 9:03 am
Bron Lang, Volunteer Field Liaison Officer for Australia HOPE International, is profiled in Changemakers – a regular column which examines inspiring people and their careers in the Not for Profit sector.
Australia HOPE International is run by volunteers in South Australia in partnership with its African partners in Uganda and DR Congo. HOPE exists to bring a brighter future to Africa’s poorest and most needy, especially abandoned and needy children, women widowed by AIDS and war, and poverty bound families who are determined to attain a better life.
What do you like best about working in your current organisation?
I love that anyone who wants to help can get involved, I love that we partner with African nationals, I love that we are still growing and that I have the opportunity to be part of that growth and see what that translates into in terms of outcomes for our partners and the communities we are involved in.
One who sees something good must narrate it. Ugandan proverb.
It reminds me when I hear so many terrible stories around me to search out the good also and to make sure that what I am telling people about my experiences over here is not the same as the stories that they are seeing on the nightly news (not that this region makes it to the nightly news very often). War, disease and poverty do not define the people I meet, why should I define them that way to others?
I’m always being asked…
If and when I’m going to get married here in Africa.
My greatest challenge is…
I love living here in a culture that is so different from my own but at times it is also my greatest challenge. I am never quite sure of the ‘correct’ way that things should be done. I am sure I often cause offence without meaning to. Luckily for me locals are very gracious and also find my gaffes very entertaining!
What does a typical day for you involve?
A typical day tends not to happen. I can wake up with a plan to get certain things achieved and find that I still haven’t got to them by the end of the day. However my day does generally involve communicating with our CEO via email and spending some time in the office here in Mbarara, Uganda, where I am based with one of our Australia HOPE International partners. I could also spend time visiting our Street Kids Rehabilitation Project, or one of the three schools we have here in the area. I also communicate with our other HOPE partners here in Uganda and DR Congo.
What (or who) inspires you?
Our CEO, Bill, and his wife, Norma Osborne, whose vision started and continues to fuel the work that HOPE does. The people that we partner with in Uganda and DR Congo, whose love for those who are without hope causes them to live sacrificially. Those that we are working for, the thousands of children in our schools, who are desperate just to have a chance. Our boys who used to steal saucepans that could be broken down to sell as scrap metal so they could buy food and who are now excelling at school.