Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Mac leaves Green Gecko legacy

Mac McCarthy's long SSTO career is coming to end in June, but the popular lecturer leaves safe in the knowledge he's made a real difference to many lives.

Perhaps Mac's biggest achievement has been his work with the Green Gecko Project - a school and home for former street children - establishing a link which has benefited both children in Cambodia and our own students.

Mac has just returned from Green Gecko for the final time and has sent some details about the Project:

"After my first visit to Green Gecko I spoke to my old friend Edwin Thwaites about developing a new form of assignment for final year students. The idea was to integrate and develop their skills within a team-based problem solving context.

"They would split into small groups to develop and run projects to raise money in a competitive market environment - essentially the real world in microcosm.

"In addition to taking a group to Cambodia each year for field study and volunteer work, over £38,000 has been raised since we began this journey. I'd hoped to reach £40,000 before retirement, and we did get close!

"The learning opportunities provided for our students are invaluable to their futures. Numerous students have been in touch over the years to say how much they learned from a task that proved to be harder than it looks.

"One of the students who visited there is taking up an opportunity to work in a similar setting in Korea. I even got a message from someone I taught over 20 years ago in another institution, reminding me of a similar initiative we developed for supporting Romanian orphans.

"Just a few weeks ago two Preston women, holidaying in Cambodia, went to Green Gecko because they'd heard about it as a result of our students' fund-raising efforts.

"When I started it, I had one aim for our students - that they should learn about the challenges of implementing their management skills in a real world setting and gain some real insights into this and the fact that life is more than just career and salary.

"I had two aims for Green Gecko - that we would keep raising money in order to keep them open, and that we would reach a point, when I retire, where they no longer relied on our money for that. Our money now pays the rent each year."

1 comment:

  1. Congratulations Mac - Really enjoyed raising money for the GGP. Thank you for all your help and support over the last few years.