I first came to China as an exchange student in 1986 and marveled at the bicycles and bustling markets.
This trip inspired me to learn Chinese, and to go on to study the Politics of Asia and Africa. I’ve come back again and again – including a year on a British Council scholarship and to write my Master’s dissertation at Sichuan University in Chengdu.
My first job after graduation was with the BBC World Service as a radio production assistant, and I had to pretend my Chinese was a bit better than it actually was!
I’ve worked in numerous China-related positions before returning back to the NGO-world and joining Save the Children in 2011 as their China Country Director. My time is divided between Beijing and projects in the field.
The photo below is with some small children at a coal-mining city called Yining, where Save the Children is running some home-based pre-school care centres for the local children. I watched them with their care-givers, learning how to wash their hands, and play games. None of these children had seen a smartphone before and they really liked the photos on the phone. So I was there, with these three little children having bouts of giggles. It was very, very nice.