A ShelterBox Response Team (SRT) has been working with Rotary, various aid agencies and the Government in Niger to assess the need for shelter in the capital Niamey, following heavy flooding that has left tens of thousands of families homeless.
Gaston Kaba is one person who has been helping ShelterBox respond to the disaster in the African country in numerous ways including acting as the SRT’s guide, translator and driver.
‘We would not have progressed so much without Gaston’s assistance,’ said SRT member Laura Jepson (UK) now in Niger. ‘Whatever you need he will be able to do it. He’s done everything from driving us, translating, arranging visas, which is not easy, and he is extremely well connected.’
Gaston was born in Senegal but moved with his father to Niger at the age of seven and has lived there ever since. Now aged 71, he continues to live a full life following his winding career path.
He spent several years studying and teaching in Los Angeles and New York in the United States, and also in England. He attained further jobs in the Civil Service, USAID and Peace Corps as an Associate Director, before he retired in 2008.
‘My father was strict but taught me good values, to always be vigorous and hardworking,’ said Gaston.
Hating being idle, Gaston began volunteering his time for various nongovernmental organisations (NGOs) around the world and continues to.
‘It’s a pleasure to help people and see it making a difference.’
In 1988, Gaston became a Rotarian. For the last three years he has been Assistant Governor for District 9100, which incorporates 14 West African countries. It is through the Rotary network that he became aware of ShelterBox.
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