Hello, I’m Stephen and I’ve just joined CObBalance as a Carbon Project Officer. I’m looking forward to getting stuck into the great work of the organization and to help deliver projects in Africa and beyond.
Having completed my undergraduate Economics degree at the University of Sheffield I struggled to know what I wanted to do after graduating, and so I decided to try something completely different and volunteer in Nicaragua for three months as part of the International Citizen Service. I lived on a farm with my host family Maurizio and Amalya and coached business studies to young entrepreneurs in the village who wanted to start their own enterprises, which included becoming beekeepers, chicken farmers, and opening a clothes shop from their house. While working on this project I saw the great benefits of implementing development projects in the Global South, as well as the challenges and intricacies that accompany such work, which is what ultimately led me to want to improve my understanding and pursue a career in the sector.
I subsequently enrolled in an International Development master’s in Sheffield which gave me great experience in understanding climate change theory, socioeconomic development issues, and practical project skills. Although COVID-19 halted any plans of international travel I was able to complete a virtual research project in Sierra Leone, working with the University of Makeni to investigate the rural livelihood impacts created through the rise of artisanal gold mining activities. For my dissertation I partnered with a charity in Mozambique to uncover what impact baobab tree commercialization, the charity’s inclusive baobab business, and private-sector led development has on community vulnerability and particularly female empowerment. I really enjoyed collaborating with local people, researchers, and stakeholders to complete these studies, and I’m very excited to be working on and visiting development projects with CO2balance which make a real difference in communities in the Global South, and perhaps finally visit the areas where I undertook my research…
Away from work I am very big on my sports, which include going skiing, playing football, cricket, and golf, and watching any of the above whenever I can. I also enjoy walking and exploring places in the local area with my dog, and a bit further afield from the South West I have completed various interesting treks including in the Atlas Mountains, Isle of Skye, and the Arctic Circle Trial in Greenland.