A WELSH woman has ventured around the world teaching to make a difference in children's lives.

Charline Evans has spent the past 21 years travelling the world visiting schools, orphanages and hospitals, photographing and filming children’s hopes, dreams and concerns for their future.

She has circumnavigated the world solo many times and travelled by plane, train, automobile, camel, canoe and elephant. She has survived malaria, broken bones, sepsis and cancer while travelling through deserts, droughts, floods, war and political coups from the depths of the Amazon Jungle, to the Volcano Alleys of the Andes, from deepest Africa, through Asia and from Oceania to the Americas, Outback Australia, Sri Lanka, UK, Europe, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and Japan.

South Wales Argus: The Welsh born and raised teacher has around all across to globe.

During that time she has made more than 80 short documentary films on education, emancipation, environment, poverty, culture, heritage, climate change, social entrepreneurship and hope.

Speaking to the Argus she said: "At school I was far from the 'perfect student', daydreaming, truanting, not studying etc, but I was an avid reader and loved books of travel including Around the World in 80 days and I dreamed of a world outside.

"Later, after becoming a young mother with three children under the age of five, these dreams I thought were impossible. But fate had other plans.

"I started my teaching career in Pontypridd and Aberdare and it was during this time and the build up to the 1999 Rugby World Cup that I had my opportunity to extend my teaching from the Valleys and link with schools in New South Wales, when I was asked to help design and build the Australia Mosaic for the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff.

"Using the internet we linked schools in Wales and New South Wales in an exciting project that enabled students across the world to come together and work as one.

South Wales Argus: The Welsh born and raised teacher has around all across to globe.

"This not only opened my mind and heart to the possibilities of linking children, communities and cultures around the world, but also inspired me to look beyond the curriculum of the classroom walls and to realise how important culture, heritage, language and passion for one's own country is, and how important it is not just to keep these cultures and heritages alive but to also share and bask in the glory of them. Uniqueness and a celebration of the world’s diversity in unity."


Although Ms Evans suddenly felt a thirst for seeing the world, a fall and a fractured leg meant she had to put plans on hold for some time.

During her recovery a friend bought her Michael Palin's DVD Around the World in 80 Days. She was a big fan but realised that similarly to other travel films it was focused on adults and not children. So, she set about designing a project that would focus on children, their countries, communities and cultures and more importantly their hopes, dreams and concerns for their futures.

South Wales Argus: The Welsh born and raised teacher has around all across to globe.

When asked whether she would recommend teaching aboard she simply said yes, quoting a saying that she sticks by: "The world is an open book, those who do not travel read only one page".

"Taking that first step, albeit with a broken leg has opened many opportunities for me that I could only have dreams of as a child," she said.

"I have travelled across oceans, deserts, rainforests, jungles, volcano alleys, mountains, glaciers, caves and sink holes. I have made lifelong friends around the world. I have listened to oral history stories passed down from generation to generation, from the green, green grass of home to the Quecha Tribes of the Amazon, the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders of Outback Australia, from the Ganglands of Chicago to the plains of Mongolia.

"As I listened to the hopes, dreams and concerns of the children, my curriculum became alive with studies of animal conservation, environmental protection and reclamation, music, dance and folklore, stories, art and science, and most importantly, love and laughter.

South Wales Argus: The Welsh born and raised teacher has around all across to globe.

"I have had the opportunity not only to teach but to learn too, The opportunity to meet people I never thought I would, to build schools, to train teachers, to develop new curriculum for a new and rapidly changing world."

Over the past year and a half travel has been extremely restricted as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, so Ms Evans has instead been connecting with students virtually.

She said: "I have built and am continuing to build a website to support Around the World in 80 Schools (charlineevans.com) I have written an e book - White Ginger Around the World in 80 Schools - and I have been working with groups of children in Switzerland to raise money for Uganda, India and Nepal who are fighting to keep not only their culture alive but also their lives, their hopes and their dreams too."