CEO, GenderLinks, Johannesburg, South Africa
Schola Kimaryo is to me a well of wisdom and a beacon of light. At a critical moment in the life of Gender Links, a Southern African women’s rights NGO, she offered lessons to me and the staff on the need to balance our well- being with the often difficult and stressful work that we do. She gave us a new vocabulary and way of doing things. We now remind each other when we are out of balance. We formed the Hikers with Soul club, that includes staff, family, friends and alumni. We exercise, connect, sing, go to the theatre, and lift each other up. Last year, when GL operated at one third its 2014 budget due to the international funding environment, we pulled through thanks to a great team spirit and the ability to see things in perspective. We lived and learned. We slimmed and trimmed. We shed a lot of baggage. We stayed focused on our vision. We learned more climbing down that we did climbing up. While we could not afford leadership training, we kept Schola’s precious slides, and referred to them during our planning this year. Rain clouds are gathering on the horizon; we are hoping for a better year. Sisters like Schola are never far from us. She is not just a trainer, but a mentor, a role model, and one who walks the talk in every way. I whole heartedly commend her course!