As we mark the 150th anniversary of confederation, The Philanthropist is profiling Canadians from across the non-profit sector and putting a face to 150 individuals who work or volunteer in Canada’s social sector.
Name: Meladul Haq Ahmadzai
Current role in the sector: Volunteer and member, Oxfam Canada
Years working and/or volunteering in the non-profit sector: Ten years volunteering
What was your first job in the sector or a defining moment?
I started working as a computer operator with a non-governmental organization (NGO) in Afghanistan. During this time I put my English language skills and computer skills to the test. I was successful in creating reports and typing email correspondence faster than the previous computer operator. This job allowed me to learn more about how to run an organization.
Describe your desk/workspace.
I have a plate full of toffee on my desk along with all my office equipment including a laptop and printer which allows me to stay on top of things even with my busy school/work schedule.
What are you reading or following that has expanded your understanding of the non-profit sector?
I am currently taking the nonprofit management certificate course at Mount Royal University, which allows me to read various books such as Integrating mission and strategy for nonprofit organizations by James A. Phills. This book taught me some of the key motivational skills to be successful in the nonprofit sector and helped me see a future in this field for myself.
What do you think our sector needs to be thinking about?
I think that the sector needs to think about where to seek administration costs. The funds that organizations raise is meant for projects, which makes it difficult o pay for employee salaries. Also, what are the consequences of more policy work for the sector? This means less focus on activities that benefit beneficiaries that help the community and donors.
Do you know someone we should profile as part of this series? Email us at email@example.com