We like getting to know the people behind the non-profit organisations that we partner with. Today, Julika Falconer, CEO of Futurelife Foundation, tells us more about running a non-profit organisation.
In 10 words or fewer, what is the idea behind Futurelife Foundation?
Eradicating malnutrition and hunger, one child at a time.
What is the best advice you’ve ever received (in the context of a Non-Profit Organisation)?
Always under-promise to beneficiaries, donors and stakeholders and then over-deliver.
What advice would you give those wanting to work for, or start, a Non-Profit Organisation (NPO)?
In order to eliminate frustrating setbacks: determine your finish line first. Then check if it is achievable with the talent, passion and skills you have. Work for a NPO first before you go through the lengthy process of starting one.
What, in your mind, has been Futurelife Foundation’s biggest success?
The growth of our nutrition programme since 2008. From feeding 10 000 meals we are now donating 150 000 meals every month.
What have you/your organisation learnt from mistakes that may have been made?
We learnt to be weary of all those people involved in NGO work who are trying to waste one’s time on meaningless meetings, forced phone calls and empty promises.
In what way would you like Futurelife Foundation to impact South Africa?
According to UNICEF, 1 in 4 SA children is malnourished. We would like to reduce this number significantly and help thousands of children reach their full potential and thrive at school.
Have you met any people or heard any stories that have inspired you to do the work that you do? If so, please tell us a little more.
I used to run a weekly mother/baby clinic here in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) in 2005. We helped 150 mothers at a time with several paediatric nurses and volunteers. Paediatric nurse and midwife Sister Sharon Buckle from Hillcrest Hospital, KZN, will forever remain the most inspiring woman I had the privilege to work with. With stoic patience, professionalism, calm and an incredible love for the babies, she helped hundreds of them and saved many. Professional volunteers add immeasurable value out there in rural and under-resourced communities where the level of information, education and often communication is extremely poor.
Why did you decide to do the work that you do?
I have a Masters Degree in Maritime Law but figured out that I would have more success in NGO work. It appears easier to thrive in a field one feels passionate about.
Go here for more information on Futurelife Foundation’s project on Different.org.