A former soldier from Hawick is to spend the next two years travelling across Africa after leaving his job to start a self-funded volunteering campaign.
Dominic Taddei, 34, will work with different charities across six different African countries, setting off this month.
The former St Margaret’s RC Primary and Hawick High School pupil served with the King’s Own Scottish Borderers for almost five years from the age of 16 before returning to Hawick to work as a manager in the town’s then Somerfield supermarket.
He left the town in 2012 to work as a patrol officer at Essex University but is now on a two-year career break.
“I have donated money to various charities over the years but never my time before,” he explained. “I will spend between three to six months on various projects, some working with water, some with tribes and some with construction but all done through organised charities which I’ve been through disclosures for.
“I am a keen traveller, and I love experiencing different cultures. On my travels, it really did open my eyes as to how good we have it here back in the UK.”
“The people that I met were friendly and welcoming to me despite having hardly anything themselves.
He leaves Scotland for Ethiopia on March, 27 where he will begin his volunteering journey with the Hamer tribe of Southern Ethiopia. From there he will travel on to Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda and Ghana working on different projects in each country for up to two years.
Dominic added: “I have saved up the money myself and am now in a position where I just want to take a couple years and help people.
“I may stay up to two years, then the plan is open. I’ll maybe go on to India or I might come back to bonnie Scotland.”
Dominic has previously spent time travelling to places such as Moldova, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Somaliland, North Korea, China, South east Asia, and Chernobyl’s exclusion zone.
Fully aware of what lies ahead, he contacted Kelso-based Pyramid Travel Products for supplies, who quickly donated a host of travel essentials.
Dominic added: “I contacted them about buying some supplies and when they heard what I was doing donated water tablets, anti-bug spray and shampoos. It was totally unexpected for them to support me in this way and I’m very grateful.”