Working for a better world: The School of St Jude’s Matt Chard
People find amazing jobs on EthicalJobs.com.au every day. This is part of a series of blog posts, which go behind the scenes to meet some of the people and organisations who are finding each other through EthicalJobs.com.au.
Today’s story is from Matt Chard who found his Volunteer Grant Writer role with The School of St Jude, Tanzania, after seeing the ad on EthicalJobs.com.au.
First of all, can you tell us about your first ever paid job?
When I was at University I worked a casual job at a petrol station. I wouldn’t say it was something I particularly enjoyed, but it allowed me to pay for my education and save some money for travel, which has lead me to where I am today.
Has your study had a significant impact on your career so far?
I have a commerce degree majoring in marketing and economics. It has opened a lot of doors for me, and given me a place at organisations that I genuinely care about.
Is this your first international development role?
Before St Jude’s I worked for the international health organisation Marie Stopes International in London. Prior to that I was with the Vervet Monkey Foundation in South Africa, and have also worked in numerous marketing research roles in Australia.
What inspired you to be an international volunteer?
I wanted to be part of an organisation where I could use my education and skills for ethical purposes. It is a blessing to be able to assist organisations that are so devoted to helping others.
So how did you first come across EthicalJobs.com.au?
When my contract at Marie Stopes International finished I started looking for more work in the non-profit industry. I found EthicalJobs.com.au through Google and it proved to be a great place for job listings.
What does The School of St Jude in Tanzania do, and what first attracted you to the organisation when you saw the ad on EthicalJobs.com.au?
The School of St Jude provides free, high quality education for over 1,800 students. These students are all from disadvantaged backgrounds, and rely on St Jude’s to gain access to education. It is a community-minded organisation that helps so many people within its local area, and is an example of the difference that quality education can make to someone’s life.
What has motivated you to work as a volunteer?
Volunteering offers the opportunity to work with organisations that can really make a positive impact on people’s lives. This makes work very rewarding, and ensures that you want to make the most of your time. In addition to that, it is also a great way to travel, learn, meet similar people, and build memories that will last a lifetime.
The School of St Jude in Tanzania has been around for 12 years! What's in store for the coming year?
St Jude’s will continue to grow and keep improving the high-standard education that it offers its students. In addition to this, we will be creating a Tertiary Program to assist our graduating students in preparing for University, and keep looking for ways that we can positively impact upon education in Tanzania and Africa as a whole.
What advice would you give to the many ethical jobseekers who dream of landing a job like yours?
Volunteering abroad does involve many sacrifices, mostly to do with being separated from family and friends. My advice to others is to be honest with yourself; think about what you can and can’t live without, and what you really want to obtain from your career and your life in general.
Find something that you are passionate about and do your utmost to make it happen. Try to assess what you really want from your career and your life, look for opportunities that will allow you to achieve this, and think of how your skills can benefit others. It’s important when volunteering in developing countries that you make a worthwhile contribution by devoting enough time to a project, using your skills positively and building capacity within a community wherever possible. And, whatever you do, enjoy it.