AJTS - African Journal of Traumatic Stress

A publication of African Psycare Research Organisation In Collaboration with Makerere University College of Health Science.

Published: 2020-04-27

About CLAMP Refugees, Uganda Project (CLAMP- RU)

AUTHOR: Penelope Yanni MD, PhD – Psychiatrist

My father, Geoffrey Haldyn Clamp, was an entrepreneur and an optician, a charismatic character with an adventurer’s spirit and an honourable nature.  He grew up in a lower-middle class family and put himself through college to be an optician.  He had a laboratory and designed and manufactured contact lenses, which he distributed to opticians throughout the southern half of England, and partnered with others in Trinidad and Greece.  He was in the military and was proud to regale stories of his time in Libya, when he made spectacles for the King. He owned and operated his own optician’s shop, and was a prominent member of the local community.  He was President of the Rotary club, and initiated a water project in India.

My father was definitely a businessman, but his priorities were not all about profit.  I remember him telling me at one time, that the laboratory was not making a profit, but that he kept it going as he felt a responsibility to all his staff who had worked with him for many years and relied on that steady income.  Not a usual business strategy! When he was ready for retirement he gave the business to my brother, a brilliant engineer, who turned the practice into a very successful enterprise, designing and manufacturing contact lenses for specific optical conditions, and received 2 awards from the Queen of England.

When my brother sold the business a few years back, he remembered that my father (by now deceased) had always had an urge to help others and to make a positive impact on the world.  He approached me about gifting some money to a good cause and I immediately thought about the connections and work done by my great friend Dr Helen Liebling in Uganda. Thus CLAMP-RU was born.

Penelope Yanni MD, PhD – Psychiatrist