"Leaders DO NOT give up."
Nomcebo, 22, of Johannesburg, South Africa, works with Extranet Anonymous, a group of college students who teach life and business skills to people in their community.
What kind of philanthropic or volunteer work did/do you do?
Nomcebo: We are a group of youngsters who deal with life skills, business skills, career guidance, and more. Basically, we teach all of these to students, hawkers (street vendors), people in the informal sector, and orphans.
What is the name and location of the organization?
Nomcebo: We call ourselves Extranet Anonymous. We are the students at Cida City Campus in Johannesburg.
Tell us about the project, especially who benefits from this work.
Nomcebo: Extranet focuses on community development. We believe in what we do because it can change one person's life, which benefits us also because that changed person will also change someone else. That is exactly how the whole community will change. I can say that both parties benefit in our project.
What inspired you to get involved?
Nomcebo: The school inspired me, Cida City Campus is all about giving back to our communities. That is how we are successful, by making sure that the people I leave behind eat the same slice of pie as me.
How did you first get involved? Give us some details.
Nomcebo: I got involved through school in 2002, when I first taught people in the informal sector about money management and banking. First National Bank is one of the major sponsors of my school, so they also sponsored the project.
What is/was the best thing about your experience?
Nomcebo: That would be seeing people regain hope and faith. That changes my life completely. I believe life is all about having a dream, hope, and courage to implement your dream and having faith that it will come true.
What is/was the hardest part?
Nomcebo: The hardest part was to influence the people in the informal sector to put their money in the bank, and to write down their cash inflow and outflow so that they will know where it's going.
What was the biggest surprise?
Nomcebo: To my surprise they came in the following week and most of them had taken my idea. Although they had disagreed before and said their money was safer under their beds, they ended up changing their minds and we were very excited.
What new things have you learned as a result of your experience and how have you changed as a result?
Nomcebo: Timothy Webster and Phindile Dlamini of the ARMS Foundation, a leadership project, told me that leaders DO NOT give up, that I am a visionary, and a responsible and courageous person. That completely changed my life. Now I will continue with my mission of changing people's lives.
What advice would you give to someone who is thinking of getting involved in philanthropy or volunteering?
Nomcebo: You should undoubtedly GO for it. As long as it is from your heart you will help someone out there, and in return you get the MOST satisfaction just by seeing that person succeed.
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