Shelley O’Callaghan first joined Cuso International as a 22-year old looking for new experiences. What she found in Zambia was a welcoming country with which she developed a deep and lasting connection.
“Going to Zambia was the most important thing I had ever done in my life,” she says. “It had the biggest impact on me for my future. It gave me a broader perspective on my world and taught me the importance of participation and giving back.”
Back in Canada, O’Callaghan became one of Canada’s pre-eminent environmental lawyers. She has published numerous articles and is a frequent speaker on the topic of environmental law.
“Volunteer work makes you a more aware person and helps you see things from different perspective. It enhances your ability to do your job.”
O’Callaghan’s connection to Zambia did not end upon her return to Canada. She goes back to the country frequently and even helped raise funds to build a school for 450 children.
Now retired in North Vancouver, O’Callaghan continues to give her time to worthy causes, and has written a non-fiction book on her family’s 100-year history at Chilliwack Lake.
Photo: Shelley O’Callaghan at the Twitti School in Zambia