So – how did ReachUp SA come into being? This is a question that a lot of people have asked me over the years – and this is how it goes…
In 2011 – my family and I were transferred through my husbands business, to Sydney, Australia. My son was only 18 months, and I was filled with mixed emotions at the time. I’d had a complicated journey health wise, and had become rather dependent on my family for support. I was also excited for the unknown adventure ahead – and exposing my son to living in a different country.
On arrival – Australia seemed to be a better version of South Africa. Beautiful beaches with people bouncing around playing volleyball – and running their babies in strollers along the beachfront (in the marked zone of course). Gorgeous weather, restaurants along the beachfront and parks that would delight any child. Their grocery stores seemed to have an uber-trusty self payment option, and their coffees were to die for. Not to mention the safety that we all crave as South Africans. No fences, kids running around the streets – and catching buses and trains to school. No school runs! It seemed idyllic. Like we’d hit the jackpot.
After spending some time there though – those rose-tinted glasses were very firmly taken off. I found myself chained to the house doing housework most of the time…… with no downtime from my son. He learnt how to clean windows at the tender age of 2 – and although there were beautiful beaches and parks…..getting there normally came at a cost. Coming home to an upside down house! There were rules everywhere – on the roads, in my own backyard (no braais), and in the parks. Even the dogs had their own designated walking zone…. As-well as seatbelts that they would have to wear when traveling in a car (I know this because I started working at a dog parlor on weekends to avoid doing housework 🙂 )
I found myself frequently thinking of the very beautiful country that we had left behind. A country that boasts unique bushveld and wildlife, exquisite beaches and breathtaking mountains. A country of hope and of desperation. A country of poverty and wealth – a country where the people are striving, and trying to be better. A country of entrepreneurs, NGO’s, corrupt government and road rage. A country of stokvel, mielie pap, and 11 official languages. A country that I am very proud to call home….
SO -we decided to throw the towel in – and to come back home. But this time we needed to have a mission. And so ReachUP SA was born. I felt that the one and only way I could give back was through education. Through much research, I decided to choose topics that South Africans mostly needed to learn from, then matched them to the best service providers in those fields that I could find. I want the people of South Africa to be so satisfied with their access to knowledge here, that they will never leave. Or…..like me…. one day they will come back home, and give back to the country that they know and love.
Over the years I have been blessed and have grown in my role at ReachUP SA. I love working with my service providers – who are abundant in every way. My clients – I applaud you for endeavoring to make the learning changes necessary to up skill your people. I love being a part of this beautiful journey with all of you.