Posted by: umkulo | 26 August 2009

Summer 2009 Update

So…

It has definitely been a while. For the average follower, you may be asking, “did you all disappear?” And the answer is yes and no. Some crazy changes have been going on, but all of them have been for the better.

First of all, the Umkulo Team has undergone some interesting changes both personally and collectively.

  • Lauren has moved to Austin, TX. She felt a pull to the city after visiting many months back. There, she is hoping to plug into a local church and pursue a lifetime love of worship and church development.
  • Adam has moved back to his home in Colorado.
  • Kendra is officially in South Africa using her music education degree to further the Mobile Music Academy that was started in 2008. Follow her at http://whereyousend.wordpress.com!!!
  • Chris is the last of the bunch to graduate and is still in Tennessee (the only one left!). He is exploring graduate schools and hoping to pursue journalism.

What does all this mean for The Umkulo Project?

Since we are now spread out a little further (literally all over the world!) than is possible to work at full-force, the Umkulo plan has changed too. The overall mission and vision have remained unchanged, however we know it will look differently than we originally envisioned. With Kendra on the ground working her magic (and yes, even a week in, she is rocking the Academy!), the first and foremost goal of The Umkulo Project will continue on: to grow and nurture the Mobile Music Academy. We are still in our infancy and still evolving, trying to understand what is possible and what our role should in fact look like. One analogy we’ve thrown around: We don’t want to provide just a band-aid for a bullet wound. Still in the process of diagnosing the situation, Kendra will be the key figure as our only eyes, ears and voice on the ground. We would rather be patient and thorough than reckless and damaging.

Chris is delving into journalism specifically to learn skills to report on such findings. Whether it be in the form of books, news articles, photographic essays or just blog updates, communicating this information in an effective and methodical way will be extremely important as the reality becomes more clear. Lauren is wanting to expand her career experience in the non-profit world to better understand how that sort of industry operates.

All of us are just out of school and as wonderful as the idea sounded initially, none of us had any sort of non-profit experience to match our enthusiasm. Even with the perfect combination of people, for something like this to succeed, it takes hardcore experience and timing. And with the economy where it’s at, it proved rather impossible to succeed without any sort of steady income. So that’s why we all decided to get more experience, get more knowledge, more resources, more education, and more personal financial security before taking that leap. We think we’ll be more successful if we jump into the known instead of the unknown.

So, there’s the honest update. The Umkulo Project has not folded and is not even lying dormant with Kendra working in Africa as we speak. However, it is definitely undergoing some construction and maintenance and may look completely different in the months and years to come. Thanks for your patience and support!! We’ll have more updates in due time.

-The Umkulo Team

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