While raising goats, ducks and children in Shropshire in the 1970s, Janie Hampton undertook an Open University BA in Human Sciences. In 1980 the Hampton family moved to newly-independent Zimbabwe where Janie edited a magazine for health workers, was an agony aunt, the women’s editor of The Manica Post and started health projects for UNICEF and the Ministry of Health.
After four years the Hamptons travelled home across Africa on trucks, boats and buses, a journey which led to the second prize in the Sunday Times travel writing competition and the acclaimed book A Family Outing in Africa. Back in England, Janie became a producer of The Medical Programme and Focus on Africa for the BBC World Service. In 1988 she was the first lay person to gain an MSc in International Health from Great Ormond Street Hospital, University of London. Her thesis was on the health and development of pre-school children in rural Zimbabwe.
Janie has worked extensively in international development and social activism. As a charity trustee, she has always actively encouraged efficient process, good governance and transparency. The British Department for International Development commissioned her to develop its policy on international women’s health, after which she planned reproductive health projects in Africa, South America and Asia.
In 2014 Janie became Patron of the Malawi Association UK. This is an umbrella body of all the Malawi Associations in Britain, which promotes Malawi through cooperation among Malawians and friends of Malawi.
When Janie’s mother, the author Verily Anderson died age 95, the day after finishing her latest book, Janie wrote her an obituary in The Independent.
Janie has been married to the psychotherapist Charles Hampton since 1971. When not working, they grow fruit and vegetables, and rear bantams and quails. Now their four children are grown up, their favourite pastime is playing with their six grandchildren.