Five For Friday Interview: Fifi: Model Westminster

Fifi Kara is currently a Government student at the London School of Economics and the Director of the educational initiative, Model Westminster. During her gap year, she worked alongside a number of public sector organisations, including the National Citizen Service, Living Wage UK and the Social Integration Commission. During her first year at the LSE she co-founded the prestigious London 2030 Summit. She hopes to use her education, a passion for egalitarianism and positive citizenship to shape the way in which we tackle social issues.

1. What is the one cause you wish more people knew about?

Although this may not fit in the category of causes, one thing I am determined to ensure that more people know about is socially good business. If I had the opportunity to persuade everyone for an entire day, I would ensure that they knew that believing profit was the primary purpose of business is an outdated ideal, which is sure to do more damage than harm to our society. I would like people to know that in order to be successful in life and in business – understanding the importance of social responsibility is a no-brainer and any business that recognises this is sure to succeed.

2. What gets you up in the morning?

Knowing I have a responsibility towards the causes I care about! It’s a great motivator for study and work! As well as the fact I study at the London School of Economics. There is no time for lie-ins!

3. What is an inspirational quote that you would like to share with us?

At Model Westminster, we have adopted the quote ‘Politics is too serious a matter to be left to the politicians.’ – Charles de Gaulle. The reason I was so drawn to this quote was firstly because, it definitely summed up the work we have been trying to achieve for the past year. Essentially, this quote reminds me that in order to affect change in society you must confront certain things, which may seem bigger than you and bigger than what you can potentially achieve. Parliament and democracy are examples of this. When I started to realise that if I don’t interact with the area in society I hope to change, if I instead remain ignorant towards it, nothing would change and I cannot expect someone else to fix it. Once I started realising that my contribution to society’s challenges was meaningful regardless of my capacity, I knew I had the potential to create change.

4. What has been the proudest achievement in your life so far?

I think I was made aware of this quite recently. It has been a year since I came up with the idea of using an educational stimulatory model to curb political apathy and ignorance towards the UK Government. My incredibly simplistic idea found its way onto a note app in my phone, which I wrote in the late hours of the night. It was after thinking about my journey to University and what made me study Politics from being an apathetic and disengaged teen. The fact that I had written a short note on my phone this time last year to having an organisation with over ten employees, a network of supportive individuals from MPs to Senior executives in the Private Sector, a healthy business model and more and more engaged students, interacting with us every day – has felt like a true achievement.

5. What is your hope for the next year (personal or professional)?

I plan to continue expanding Model Westminster and try to fit my degree in there somewhere. I also hope to expand my professional experiences by working on more projects, which focus on different challenges in society, so I have a breadth of experiences to compliment my degree. This year I was awarded a Summer Scholarship to the USA by Fulbright, I hope to learn more about the USA whilst studying and working in the public sector during my time there.

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Nisha Kotecha is the Founder of Good News Shared. Having worked and volunteered for charities in the UK for over 10 years, Nisha is on a mission to highlight how amazing charities are.