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Mar 9, 2009

When “thinking on your feet” took on a whole new meaning and Nick's Passion

A NOTE FROM GLOBALGIVING:

This is the second in a series of snapshots about project leader Nick Mould and his organization Umzingisi School of Sporting Excellence.

Thank you for your continued support of Nick and his tireless dedication to improving the lives of South African children through sport. We ask you to contribute again today! Feel free to tell your friends about Nick and his incredible work!

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When “thinking on your feet” took on a whole new meaning

After studying Business Economics and working for a “ruthless” multinational food retailer, Nick Mould needed a career break. He packed his bags and headed for his father’s homeland of South Africa to spend six months giving back to the community.

An avid sportsman, Nick used his athletic inclination as an avenue to get to know the children in the small towns where he worked. Nick’s “sport as a tool” proved very effective. “I quickly saw the impact that spending just a little bit of time with the impoverished children of the township communities here could do and that with a little bit of personal care and attention, improvements in the children’s behavior, attention span, self esteem and general intelligence became apparent,” says Nick. Nick starting building up a volunteer program for like-minded individuals to come out and coach sports.

Now four years in the running, the Umzingisi School of Sporting Excellence has added life-skills program in addition to its rigorous sports training schedule with the help of funding driven by GlobalGiving. The curriculum includes topics such as HIV/AIDS prevention and awareness, crime awareness, career guidance, intrapersonal development, financial management, health and nutrition, and computer skills. With further funding, Nick hopes to develop a holistic educational program that includes music, art, and drama instruction.

Nick’s Passion

What motives Nick to go to work every day? “Many people look at the kind of work we do and think that we are selfless for what we are doing for other people,” says Nick. “I don’t see it this way at all.”

Rather, for Nick, the satisfaction of helping another person is more valuable than monetary compensation. “One of the best feelings you can have is when you do something for someone else and they really appreciate what you have done,” says Nick. “There is so much more reward in working to help other people rather than working solely to help yourself.”

With a degree in Business Economics and experience working for a multinational food retailer, Nick abandoned his successful corporate career to pursue more meaningful work in community development. “I don’t feel like I could be doing anything else,” he says.

The Umzingisi School of Excellence directly benefits from donations received through GlobalGiving and Nick has used the funds to expand the educational program and curriculum. Increased giving would allow Nick and his colleagues to add art, drama, and music classes.

Feb 23, 2009

A Day in the Life of Umzingisi Project Director Nick Mould

A NOTE FROM GLOBAL GIVING:

Please welcome Nick Mould. He is a new project leader here at GlobalGiving and over the past few weeks we have had the opportunity to get to know Nick and the great work he does for his organization Umzingisi School of Sporting Excellence.

Periodically over the next two months we will be sending you snapshots about Nick’s life and work. We encourage your feedback about this new form of progress update so that we can provide you with the most interesting and relevant information possible about the projects and causes you support.

We thank you for your contributions and ask you to consider donating again to Nick and the Umzingisi School of Sporting Excellence. Feel free to tell your friends about Nick and his incredible work!

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A Day in the Life of Umzingisi Project Director Nick Mould

It’s difficult to describe a typical work day as each day can differ so much from the next. So let me describe today. I started off on my laptop at home at 7:30 a.m., responding to emails and typing up a letter and information form for a group of under-13 boys who we are taking on rugby tour to the UK in May this year. I then dropped these forms with our junior boys’ rugby coach to prepare for his meeting with the parents of the boys, which is tomorrow night at a community school. I will also be there.

Then I stopped at our soup kitchen at the School of Excellence to check that the ingredients had arrived for today’s meals for the 250 children that we feed daily at the School of Excellence. I also wanted to check that the two new local ladies that we have employed to prepare the food were okay as it was their first day.

After dealing with the usual teething problems of the first day feeding 250 children, I went to check on student registration to make sure that all of our new scholarships had all the completed paper work and were put into classes for the year. At this stage some children informed me they had not received all of their uniforms, so I went to the shop that we have our uniform account with to rectify the problem and pick up the needed uniform.

From here I went to our volunteer accommodation to assist with transport of our volunteers. We currently have 34 volunteers and our two minibuses only take 15 each, so I was needed to help with the overload.

After this I went to collect the school books that we provide for our children with scholarships, then I went back to the school to give the children the missing uniforms and give everyone else their school books, and also check that lunch had been served. (It had, although 30 minutes late.)

I then had a meeting with one of our new scholars who had been absent from school on Friday, and, as a result, had not received his transport money for the upcoming week. After this I went to visit one of our trustees who had helped organize the first module of our life-skills program on intrapersonal development, to check that everything was ready to commence starting next Monday, which he informed me it is.

Then, I fetched the volunteer overloads and took them back to our volunteer accommodation and office where I then met with the staff to organize a strategic meeting for Thursday. By this time it was now 6:00 p.m., so I came home, sent some more emails, and then started working on this update. As I say there is no such thing as a typical day here, but that was my day today.

 
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