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Meet Ian Finlayson, our resident accountant

FFHC: Tell me about your background. What made you interested in helping FFHC?

Ian: I studied biology at university, but having finished my degree there decided that teaching and further research wasn’t the thing for me moving forwards and so looked into accountancy. I started working with an accounting firm in Reading, where I had to study for my exams around my normal working day. It took three years to obtain my accountancy qualification, working with a number of different business, the majority of which were charities. This time really helped me understand how the different charities work and the types of processes implemented to achieve their aims.

I found FFHC through a firm called Accounting for International Development. They gave me three options, and from these FFHC really stood out as a charity that was doing amazing things to help people, not through giving them money, but through teaching them how to look after themselves and live sustainably. I really liked the way FFHC is there to help their families understand how they can save for the future and look to help themselves in ways far beyond just the goat that will help them so much to start with.

FFHC: Describe your perfect day.

Ian: I’ve always been interested in wildlife and sports, so a perfect day would definitely be something outdoors. At home this would normally involve me playing cricket or just going for a nice walk down the river.

FFHC:What is your favorite meal?

Ian: Roast lamb, with roast potatoes and vegetables. Can’t be beaten!

FFHC: What is your favorite thing about living in Tanzania?

Ian: I love the wildlife and how easy it is to go on safari. Last weekend I was able to join a safari for the day to go and see elephants, lions and hippos, all within half an hour of where I live. However, the thing I love best is the people here. They are all so friendly and helpful and always look out for you. You can never walk down the road without someone stopping you to say hello, many to practice their English skills. From visiting the villages with FFHC and seeing the families being helped I have been amazed by how happy these families are by what they have, and that they are willing to share what little they have with foreigners to make them feel welcome in their homes. I think this is something a number of people could learn from and is the most striking thing I have found from my time here so far.

FFHC: What is the hardest thing about living in TZ?

Ian: Probably the lack of sports that I’m used to back home. This is more than made up for by the amazing scenery and wildlife on offer so definitely not complaining!

FFHC:Finish this sentence. It's a Saturday afternoon (in Tanzania). You can find me....

Ian: Either on a long walk in the countryside, or on safari.

FFHC: What do you like to do during your free time?

Ian: Everything outdoors or sporty I can. I play for local hockey and cricket teams back home, also playing squash and tennis when I can. I also enjoy walks in the countryside or socializing with my friends. At the moment I am attempting to learn Dutch, but it’s going very badly.

FFHC:What are three things on your bucket list?

Ian: To climb Kilimanjaro, which I will be attempting to do next week.

To see the mountain gorillas in Rwanda

To cycle the 1,000km Carretera Austral in Chile.

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