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Ping Pong for Nompondo is one of the projects that have been funded by Youth Venture. The idea for Ping Pong for Nompondo came from Eric Menter, who graduated this year from Nathan Hale High School. Through Youth Venture Eric was able to use his passion for ping pong to help a school in Nompondo, South Africa. With a few other students he organized a ping pong tournament and is now using the proceeds from the event to help build a library for the school. Read our interview with Eric to learn more about what Ping Pong for Nompondo has done.
-What inspired you to create your venture?
I was actually becoming involved with a program called Global Visionaries at the time. As part of this program you have to complete a project in Seattle and then you get to travel to Guatamala. I heard of Youth Venture and I thought it was the perfect way to get my project running. I had wanted to help Nompondo since I had traveled there in 2006.
-Why did you travel to Nompondo?
I went on a trip to South Africa with my mom. She had won a package deal at an auction for the trip. Once we got there a guide took us to Nompondo and we spent a day there looking around and playing with the kids.
-What was the event like?
The event went great. We had a 64 person bracket, 12 tables and tons of people that came to check out the event. There was food and a raffle. Someone was generous enough to donate a television for the raffle. The winner of the tournament won an i-pod. There was a suggested donation of $5 for everyone who attended, but most donated more. Total we raised about $1700.
-What was your original goal?
Our original goal was to have three tournaments in different neighborhoods and raise money to give the school a new kitchen. However, someone else had already raised money for the kitchen. When we asked them what we could do for the school they expressed an interest in books and possibly a computer. So we decided to help them build a library. We need $7,000 to build the library. We are still in the process of sending the money, but I think that there will be enough to build it.
-Have you been able to see the results of your fundraising?
Not yet, we are still in the process of sending the money to Nompondo.
-How did you advertise the event?
We made flyers, posters, and we used Facebook.
-What hardships did you in the process of organizing this big event?
Getting all the equipment was hard. Renting ping pong tables can be very expensive. We had to deal with insurance and finding a venue. We ended up hosting the event at Nathan Hale, which ended up being more difficult than I thought it would be. Everybody has their own things going on, so it took a lot of communication.
-Do you plan on having another event like this one?
I think that I’m done. It took two full years to complete this project. It took a lot of hard work and I think that we’ve already reached our goal. The event was definitely a success.