Nathan is the African Health Project Manager for Greater Glasgow and Lanarkshire. We caught up with Nathan to learn more about him.
Why did you choose to work in the HIV sector?
I was brought up in Uganda and I could see how HIV was beginning to affect the country. It was mainly rich people who were contracting the virus, then it began to spread to the poorer communities. I wanted to learn more about HIV and how to help people – I really wanted to make a difference. It became a passion of mine and so I got involved in a local project which distributed condoms to people to help stop HIV infections. Many people were embarrassed to buy condoms so it was an important project.
What did you do before you came to Waverley Care?
In Uganda I was a teacher. I then went to work for a telecommunications company as a sales person and worked my way up to become a manager. I learned a lot in that role as it taught me that the best way to be with people is to be honest and open – I wanted to sell them products that would make a difference to their lives not just to make money. I learned many skills that have helped me in my role at Waverley Care. I moved to Scotland in 2004 to study and then I began volunteering with Waverley Care in 2007.
What do you enjoy about your job?
I really enjoy the partnership working. As an individual I have strengths and weaknesses so when you work in a team everyone’s strengths comes together. I work in partnership with a wide range of organisations such as the council, the NHS, church leaders and community leaders. I like it when we can all bring our skills together and work towards an outcome. It can also help open your eyes to other ways of doing things and new possibilities. I am always working in partnership with the service users I support too.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
I like to listen to classical music – it can send you into a trance and it helps me relax. I’ve also recently taken up drawing again – I like to be imaginative. I also meditate and I’m interested in Buddhism as it teaches you about forgiveness and how to stay in the present moment.
What is your favourite food and drink?
An African stays an African! My tastes have changed slightly since living in Scotland but one of my favourite dishes is Green Bananas.
Who inspires you?
I’m particularly inspired by men in history who have risked their lives for the masses and for the better of mankind. My main inspirations are Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King and Muhammad Ali. I always remind myself that the freedom I experience is because of people like them- what they achieved is truly inspirational.