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Motivational Monday: Working in Philanthropy

This week’s Motivational Monday is with Meheen Rangoonwala (class of 2001) who has been working with our pupils on a number of social action projects.

She has recently returned to South Hampstead with the not-for-profit, community fundraising initiative, First Give, and is also inputting to ‘Think Global, Act Local’, our social action and sustainability initiative in partnership with a school in Rwanda . Meheen used to work in banking and is now the Global Programme Manager for the Rangoonwala Foundation.

While at South Hampstead, Meheen studied Geography, Biology and Latin and went on to study Geography at the London School of Economics. “I chose to study what I enjoyed and I’ve been pleasantly surprised at how much my work now relates to the development modules I took at university.” 

Since 2007, Meheen has worked for her family’s foundation, empowering communities through a variety of initiatives. One of her key projects is supporting health and education professionals working in disability sectors in under-resourced countries. “I work in philanthropy helping charities fund their projects and establishing new projects for the Rangoonwala Foundation.  The importance of contributing to the community is something I was taught at South Hampstead. I remember being involved with lots of fundraising initiatives at school, as well as spending time with the residents at Spring Grove Care Home as part of Pensioners’ Link, and volunteering at the Royal Free Hospital. South Hampstead taught us to respect others and be grateful for what we have – values that I follow today.”

Meheen says she left South Hampstead with a sense of confidence which has guided her professional work with developing countries. “Many of the projects that we’re asked to fund involve empowering women. It’s a buzzword today but, before it became fashionable, South Hampstead actually did it.  School really empowered students and made them feel that the world is their oyster.”

Meheen’s advice to current students is to “value and respect others and their opinions, but not let them define who you are and what you do. Enjoy the little things in life because one day you’ll look back and realise they were the big things.”

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