Nick Deimel from Germany: "Round Square has minimal administration costs as many students are actively engaged in this network."
Nick Deimel was born in Duesseldorf, Germany in 1990. In 2009, Nick will graduate from the boarding school Schule Schloss Salem, the spiritual home of the Round Square educational ideas. As Chair of the Round Square Committee at Salem International College, Nick has devoted his passion and enthusiasm to the Round Square Network amongst others as member of the RSIS project team in Ladakh/India and the Round Square Conference in Vancouver/Canada in 2008. Experiencing true leadership as an essential part of his education, he embodies the spirit of the Round Square IDEALS by creating several new fundraisers at his school to help those in need. Being the initiator of the annual "Salem Golf Cup", Nick has effectively and sustainably supported educational scholarships in Starehe/Kenya.
WSN: What are the challenges facing Round Square today?
Nick Deimel: In times of globalisation, more and more help organisations are spread throughout the whole world. This, in general, is a positive development. However, many organisations are thought to use the money for covering high administration costs rather than to help people. It is important for Round Square to show that this is not the case within this own organisation. Round Square has minimal administration costs as many students are actively engaged in this network. The money raised by the Round Square schools is mostly spent on projects that are being supported by either Round Square in general or by the specific school so that a regular checking is provided. Other challenges may be the growing complexity of the world and therefore also the growing complexity of humanitarian problems, which Round Square has to cover. The growing network within Round Square helps to face these challenges; however, unity within the Round Square community has to stay alive.
WSN: How should Round Square deal with the 'Environment' within the IDEALS in times of the realization of Global Warming?
Nick Deimel: I think that there is no doubt that the 'Environment' pillar is becoming more and more important within the IDEALS. It is highly recognisable and foreseeing by the founders that they have put the issue of Environment in the IDEALS. The Round Square International Service (RSIS) Projects are a fantastic platform to make people in less developed countries aware of these issues and to provide them with the necessary knowledge to evaluate this stressful issue. In my eyes, this is one of the most important and serious challenges facing Round Square in the 21st century. Round Square schools should all have a platform that makes people aware of the current situation and motivate them to take action and to start intense discussion about this issue, such as a 'Sustainability Service'. According to this year's Round Square Conference credo: 'Creating Sustainable Communities - Local to Global'!
WSN: How could Round Square profit from cooperation with other international network organisations and they from cooperating with Round Square?
Nick Deimel: Cooperating often means expanding; cooperating with other international networks would therefore make Round Square more popular and recognised in the world. Other international networks could help to further highlight the importance of international Round Square projects. By having more cooperation, the money raised could be distributed more effectively as Round Square would profit from the know-how and experience of other networks. Another advantage would be that other organisations could learn from the strengths of student involvement and motivation as well as of the structure of Round Square. 'Decentralization' is helpful and necessary in order to control the money that has been raised. The mixture of 'theoretic work' by establishing and holding fundraisers in schools and the active involvement that results in the participation on projects makes Round Square so unique.
WSN: Who gains more profit from Round Square projects - the helpers or the people that are helped?
Nick Deimel: As I have only been in the position of a helper participating at the RSIS project in Ladakh, India, in the Himalayan Mountains, I can only speak from my personal perspective. It is difficult to say who at the end gains more profit, as the two positions are almost incomparable. The helpers gain enormously from living in a multicultural environment with students from schools from all over the world: working, living and sharing experiences together that may stay in their minds for the rest of their lives. They often experience their physical and mental limit, which greatly broadens their horizon and hopefully gives them a new perspective on the world by doing good and helpful work in order to support the local population. The people who are in receipt of the help on the other side profit from an increased standard of living, which gives them access to opportunities they have not been able to face before. Having worked alongside people from another culture might both broaden their horizon and give them in some way a form of education.
WSN: What is your personal motivation to work for Round Square?
Nick Deimel: There is no doubt that I do live in privileged conditions. I see it as a personal responsibility to help people in need wherever I can and Round Square is a wonderful opportunity and link to assist me in fulfilling this. Round Square has given me the chance to realise my aims and visions in order to support other people: As Round Square captain I have initiated and organised an annual Golf Cup in order to raise money, which has not only helped the children to whom the money went but has also developed my character. Round Square has taught me to take on responsibility and has provided me with a fantastic network to realise my projects and help others. The greatest motivation for me is to raise money within my school and by personally visiting the projects that we support and what we have changed and improved by taking initiative and by working hard for our aims.