An Interview with ACS Volunteer Amar Patel

Welcome to another “face of ACS”, an interview series starring ACS Volunteers and their journey in serving the non-profit community.

Amar Patel is a long-serving Volunteer and Project Advisor at numerous ACS workshops. He also made good use of his consulting background as a full-time ACS project staff in the first half of 2018 to lead the successful development and launch of a new NGO capacity building program.

What 3 words would your friends use to describe you?        

Having conducted a quick poll : “thoughtful, knowledgeable, and motivated” came up a few times. 

We know that your wife introduced you to ACS. When did you first start your engagement with ACS and what motivated you to help so many NGOs serving very different sectors?

Yes, for ACS only, you get a 2 for 1 deal with Hoi Lai and I. It seems like an eternity ago but, back in 2014, Hoi Lai had signed up as a Volunteer and had just finished her first NGO Fundraising Strategy workshop. She found the whole approach really unique, meaningful, and enjoyable. She encouraged me to also sign-up, which I did. I was subsequently blessed to be part of the team that helped the HKRFU through a Strategic Planning workshop. Since then, I also thoroughly enjoyed my time serving SOW Asia, Youth Diabetes Action, The Hummingfish Foundation, The Vine Church, Splash, Chatteris, Variety, Aquameridian, and the AWA. Throughout all these engagements, the NGO clients’ unique needs, as well as the superstar trio of Marilyn, Isobel, and Caitlyn, kept me motivated to give my best.

Since you’ve participated in numerous ACS events over the years, what are one or two memorable or unusual experiences you’ve had?

While all my NGO client engagements are memorable, an unforgettable “ACS family” experience was celebrating (fellow volunteer couple) Rando and Ming’s pre-wedding party by playing bubble soccer for the first time. Never have I had so much fun, barely being able to stand and wobbling around (without a drink in hand). A great event that further built and strengthened great friendships with likeminded souls.

As a core member of ACS team which developed the ENGAGE digital exploration program, what do you think are the key sucess factors in designing impactful capacity building programs for NGOs? In your opinion, how should ACS and the non-profit community adapt to the post COVID-19 new normal?  

Heart, passion, and the support of a great team are a must for any program to be developed and launched. As such, a big shout out to Wai Yee, John, Venus and Isobel for getting the Engage ball in motion and to Edna & Amos for their IT support. As for adapting to the new normal, I think it’s best to just do what ACS does best – Serve Those Who Serve to make HK a better place. 

Thank you Amar!

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