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Posts Tagged ‘Kwela Leadership and Talent Management’

Fezeka Secondary students in Gugulethu, South Africa

This morning I had the opportunity to chat with Nic at Kwela Leadership and Talent Management. We had an informal chat about Kwela, their unique method of working with charities such as Education without Borders (EwB), and Nic’s involvement with EwB.

Nic is a Greek born South African who has lived in Vancouver for 17 years. His background is in the area of human resources and operations management, and he and his business partner Russel Horwitz started Kwela a number of years ago. Kwela’s specializes in leadership, team building, and organizational development for businesses of all sizes.

Nic and Kwela take a decidedly ecological and community approach to developing their business. As part of their business model, they give 1% of their organization’s profits to three NGO’s who fit closely with Kwela’s organizational values. These NGO’s include the Sea Shepherd Conservation SocietyEducation without Borders, and SOS Children’s Villages Canada.

Nic first became involved with Education without Borders after meeting Ruth and Cecil Hershler, the founders of EwB. Nic took to the organization because it embraced his values of community development, while also allowing him to reconnect to South Africa in a meaningful way.

EwB is a highly effective organization; however, one of the problems Nic has encountered as a board member with EwB, is that because the NGO is volunteer run, it can be difficult delivering projects on tight timelines. In order to resolve this, Nic has focused on bringing more structure to volunteer time commitments, for example requiring all volunteers to commit to a minimum number of productive volunteer hours per month.

Nic and I discussed various challenges facing EwB, one of them being how to grow our donor base in order to have a greater impact on the communities we work with in South Africa. We discussed the importance of engaging a broader range of South African emigrants to give a more multicultural image to our organization outside of South Africa.

We also touched on potentially expanding to other South African Diaspora communities in other Canadian cities. One issue we did not have time to discuss was how to get our message out to a broader public. EwB is working on this through its new Communications Committee; however, our blog and newsletter are still not getting the visibility we need to spread the word about EwB’s work.

It was interesting learning about Kwela and Nic’s work with Education without Borders. It is through the time and donations from people like Nic that we are able to deliver sustainable community development to youth in schools such as Fezeka in Cape Town.   Thanks for your time Nic, it was a pleasure meeting with you!

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