Fanta is a confident and motivated undergraduate student in the final year of her Business Management degree at GSM London, in partnership with Plymouth University. She is also a student representative and ambassador with exceptional leadership, communication, futuristic skills and one of the winners of GSM London Horizon Award in 2017. Fanta has taken the time to share with us, her past experiences, future plans and current projects.
How has being a student rep and ambassador helped you?
Alongside my business management course, being a student ambassador and rep has enabled me to boost my confidence, leadership, interpersonal and communication skills. My role as a student rep is to provide solutions to problems in order to help support my fellow students when they need; which I love doing. Being able to help people and know that I was able to help resolve his or her problem gives me a sense of accomplishment.
How have volunteering experiences helped you?
I have volunteered for a charity called Quilombo UK for nine months and the reason I did that, was to gain experience in HR and to have an idea how charities operate. My experience at Quilombo UK also contributed to boosting my leadership and problem-solving skills. I was involved in performance management meetings with volunteers, assessing their performance and determining how the charity could help them to work and achieve to their full potential. I was tasked with doing research and sending to volunteers, useful resources that would help in improving their knowledge and skills. I enjoyed being there.
What inspired you to start your charity?
To be honest, I have had the idea of running my own charity for many years. Like many others studying business management or other similar courses, starting something of my own was one of many things I wanted to do, so I made the decision to go for it. When I visited my grandmother’s village May in 2016 that was my first experience encountering real poverty. I was born and raised in Africa, though I was ignorant to the levels of poverty. I visited schools, and I was shocked to see children and families that were so poor that their lives and futures have completely changed direction because of basic needs that we take for granted such as food, pens, books, tables, and chairs. Having met the head of the village, I decided that I would like to do something for them.
When I came back to London, I was traumatized for two weeks. I was deeply affected. I usually buy my Taiwanese cold tea which cost £ 4.50 after work in central London. Not anymore. I couldn’t help but think that money could help someone in a village.
My wakeup call was in August 2017 when we managed a simulation project in class. As a group we were required to build electronic dams in Central Laos, Asia, on the Nam Kading River. That changed me! The World Bank, shareholders, and investors were involved in this project. What they wanted was maximum profits. No matter what we did as project managers, ultimately the only things they were stressing us about were profits by any means possible. It was then that I realised that I would not want to work for any organisation that was solely focused on profit margins with a total disregard for people and their culture.
What do you hope to achieve?
My ambition is to have a well-established charity by October 2018 that will have a positive impact on the lives of poor families. The aim of my charity is to provide education, shelter, food, and health to both children and their parents to have a joyful life in disadvantaged and war torn areas across the world.
My role model is mother Theresa who sacrificed herself for many decades to save children in India and all over the world. Nelson Mandela is also very inspirational to me. He sacrificed himself for 27 years for equality between races in South Africa. I am willing to do a similar thing even more significant to help these children in need. By God’s grace I will do my best to fix the little I can fix. I believe that God does not come personally to the earth to help people, but He uses us as tools to help one another.