Volunteer Spotlight: Paul Howe

Paul came to Kazakhstan 12 years ago with the United States Peace Corps and has never regretted it. It was there that he rediscovered three loves of his life. The first was the love of teaching. The second, love of painting. And the third, though certainly the most important, his new wife, Yelena.

After over 25 years experience in the environmental health and safety field as an OSHA trainer, teaching students was a refreshing change. This still holds true and in fact the love of teaching is still growing. Currently, besides his teaching, he is a consultant providing H&S training courses; job site inspections; and advice on H&S plans, ISO compliance, and certification procedures. Old habits are hard to break.

His painting has become somewhat of an obsession which is quite amazing to many because of his lack of formal training and obvious lack of talent. It is, however, a good form of much needed psychological therapy as it relieves stress in a positive manner, is cheap, and is more productive to hanging around in bars. His paintings can now be viewed in four continents, now that several have gone to South Africa recently – if you’re brave enough to look for them.

Yelena is probably the reason he became involved with Children of Central Asia. A native of northern Kazakhstan, she knows firsthand of the problems children can have here and constantly inspires him to become more than he is. Her latest phrase is “Raise the bar!” Always challenge yourself to higher standards.