Interview with Niels: What are the biggest challenges?

Learn more about Niels’ biggest challenges that he is facing.

The biggest challenges, I would say, is it’s related to the cultural part. So I’m from Belgium and and the Belgian culture is very different than Malawian culture. So, you know, it isn’t that a number of ways, but specifically, for example, the time and time management of Belgians,, if you say come at 10:00 AM Belgians will be there at 9:55 AM. Well, in Malawi, they’ll be there maybe 10:15 or 10:20 or 10:30, so it’s very different. You have very different cultures, which is a challenge and a big learning for me.

But you also have this specific sector of NGO work and NGO fundraising, which is very different compared to all the context I was used to, before working in consulting, working in management consulting there is also a very different world that you’re working with. Okay, revenues and costs, etc. But your revenues are generated directly by your customers. So if you build a nice product, your customers will pay for it.

In the NGO world, you can build the best products for your customers, which is the for example, in this case, the young people, you can build the best product for young people. The young people are not the ones paying you, it’s the donors that are feeding you and the visibility of the quality of work that you’re delivering to your actual clients, the young people. It’s not always what you can make visible through other people to the donors that are actually paying you. So it’s a very different sector and one that I really had to get used to.

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