Our Team

 Chief Head Shot

John Lawler - Founder and Chief

John spent his gap year teaching in Ghana, living in a remote village in the Volta Region where he worked to build and improve education in the community. Due to his extensive work in developing this community, the village made John a Chief of Development, and renamed him Chief Torgbui Mottey I, which means Pioneering Pathfinder of the Forest. On returning from his gap year in 1998, John set up Madventurer and is now a Trustee of the MAD Foundation.

Since then Madventurer has set up projects worldwide and John has himself crewed in Fiji, Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Thailand, South Africa and Peru. John has a BEng in Environmental and Ecological Engineering from Newcastle University and has served as Chair of the WYSE Work and Volunteer Abroad Association whilst also on the Executive Board of the World Youth and Student Educational Travel Confederation. John is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society.

Like all the other Trustees, John passionately dedicates as much of his free time as possible to help further the MAD Foundation and still takes an active part in supporting the Madventurer Management Team and overseas Project Leaders who continue to build the MAD Tribe today.



Liam McGough - Trustee

Liam hails from Durham in the North East of England and was a Youth Patron of MAD for 8 years. More recently Liam has joined the Board of Trustees to help further the work of the MAD Foundation. Liam has helped on MAD Projects in Kenya, Tanzania and Ghana.

Liam trekked to the top of Kilimanjaro to raise funds for the MAD Foundation along with his other 'housemates' from the TV show Big Brother (BB8 in UK). During a contestant in the Big Brother House he won the prize fund for being nominated the most worthy housemate. Liam continues to help raise cash for projects and is hoping to build a tree house hotel the likes of which have never been seen before at one of our Project Sites. In his spare time he also works as a tree surgeon, writer and presenter.



Carla Ferreira - Trustee 

A born and bred South African, Carla is passionate about tourism, travel and sharing her love for her country. After studying tourism and spending a year travelling America, she returned to South Africa in 2004 to open Saltycrax – the first ever backpackers in the Table View area of Cape Town. 

Carla chaired Backpacking South Africa for 5 years and played an active role in the transition from Backpacking South Africa (BSA) to the now South Africa Youth Travel Confederation (SAYTC). She has also served on the boards of the South Africa Tourism Services Association, International Police Association, South African Police sports club, and TLC, a large non-profit organisation. She is currently serving on the Executive Board of the World Youth Student & Education Travel Confederation (WYSTC). Carla is also Founder of the non-profit organisation SAVE in South Africa which is our sister organisation and supports all our South African projects.


Sarah Love

Sarah Love - Trustee

Sarah was an early Madventurer Volunteer, joining the first project in Ghana back in 2000.  She loved it so much she returned the following year to lead another group of MAD volunteers.  She completed a Masters course in economics for development at Oxford University in 2004 and now lives in Rwanda where she works for the UK Department for International Development as their country adviser on climate change and environmental issues.  In her spare time she likes exploring the East African countryside and searching for rare species...and MAD Project opportunities!


Steve Scott

Steve Scott - Trustee

Steve was born and bred in Kenya and has family-roots in Ambleside in the Lake District in the UK. Steve helped set up first MAD Project in Kenya over 13 years ago, is an expert in agri-business (inc flower farm consultant across Kenya), a private pilot, rock climber, enduro motor-cross competitor, and continues to advise and assist on our Projects across Kenya to this day.


Rupert Pate

Rupert Pate - Trustee

Rupert worked at MAD for globally and was one of the first ever 'madventurers'. In a previous life he managed the Forth Hotel in Newcastle, was trained at Sandhurst as an Army Officer, and after heading up MAD Ghana for a few years he was head-hunted as the Managing Director of of Ghana's largest travel company that has many networks across Africa (including Flight Centre). Rupert competes in catamaran sailinga nd always puts out the red carpet for MAD visitors. He has been a MAD Trustee for many years and continues to support and advise on all West African MAD Projects.




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