Experience Quest

Rob Harris

  • Volunteered in Bolivia on Animal Sanctuary Project in 2004
  • Now works as Programme Manager, Rapid Response Facility, Fauna & Flora International

“Quest is a great organisation to go away with if you have an interest in development or conservation issues but lack the ability or knowledge to launch into anything solo. In my case I was still deciding what to pursue as a career when I went on a Southern Africa Expedition with Quest straight from university, on the recommendation of a friend who had previously done the same trip. That was the experience of a lifetime and has led to a permanent involvement with Africa, on a personal and professional level. I was so impressed with the Quest experience and the rapport that I struck up with the trip leaders that I signed up for a project for the following year to take part in an animal conservation project in Bolivia, by which time I had decided I wanted to be a conservationist.

The work was a mix of building park infrastructure and hands-on animal care. The exposure this gave to the operations of a locally run, cash-strapped NGO was quite inspiring and I have been able to draw on these experiences many times in my subsequent professional development, including in job interviews and when working for my current employer, an international conservation NGO. It's fair to say that Quest has had an integral role in shaping the career decisions I have made and it has certainly helped to populate my CV.”

Zoe Driscoll

  • Volunteered on Tanzania Community Project in 2005
  • Previous work as Projects Assistant Officer, Teach A Man To Fish NGO, based in Ndhiwa, Kenya
  • Now working for Mokoro, development consultancy, as a Projects Assistant.

“I was part of the 2005 Quest Tanzania Community Project group, building a hostel for a vocational education centre at the foot of Kilimanjaro. It really opened my eyes to the world; I had never been out of Europe before then despite always having an interest in East Africa in particular, until then only gained from geography books! To be working on a project where you could see exactly where the money was going and how it would make a difference in the local community was really rewarding. I guess most importantly, volunteering with Quest was the seed for the work I’m doing now - working as a project officer for Teach A Man To Fish (TAMTF) in rural western Kenya. TAMTF is a UK-based NGO that promotes new approach to education in developing countries. My work involves doing training work at a school to help them become self-sufficient through businesses such as growing fruit trees. I look back on my time with Quest very fondly and can honestly say that it helped shaped my life.”

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