Out of learning flows knowledge, and from knowledge flows wisdom

Out of learning flows knowledge, and from knowledge flows wisdom

Date: May 10, 2014
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I am not a superstitious person, but 2013 will certainly go down in my annals as one of the most painful. At Gender Links we lost a dear friend and colleague, the Lesotho Country Manager, and winner of the “exceptional performanceÀ staff award in 2013, Mme Malepota Mafeka. Grief and loss compounded a tough year; many reports, many deliverables; new staff; new systems. We cried but we also laughed. We lived and we learned. Resilience is a strong theme running through these pages. Many staff at Gender Links undertake formal private studies. Balancing work, life and study is often challenging, in a performance and excellence driven work environment. GL also offers formal training. In the year past staff comment on the HR training and support received; IT, Monitoring and Evaluation, Planning (MS project) and finance skills. But these pages are mostly testament to another kind of learning; one that no university or college can offer. This priceless form of   learning takes place on-the-job, and it happens in many ways. The first is through application. Last year, GL staff went out into the field to verify the work that we do with 300 councils and 100 media houses across Southern Africa. Seeing the SADC Gender Protocol@Work, on the ground, inspired and taught many of us how to go from words to actions.   Mistakes constitute another powerful learning tool. The finance staff, for example, recall how our first country systems audit in Zimbabwe led to the idea of an “office in boxÀ À“ minimum standards for our country offices. Perhaps most important,   we learn from each other. The book affirms of the role played by managers, peers, our HR consultants Gary Stone and Anna Harris in facilitating learning. Out of learning flows knowledge, and from knowledge flows wisdom. This year’s Learning Journey is peppered with exotic quotes from Maya Angelou to Aristotle and Einstein. Miso Dhliwayo and Sifiso Dube draw inspiration from the African saying: “if you want to go fast, go alone; if you want to go far, go together.À Home grown wisdom and insights also flow from our work. For example, Mpumelelo Mlilo rediscovered his passion for soccer, and started to think about the difference between playing to win, and playing “not to lose.À Thandokuhle Dhlamini recalled the octopus that predicted the outcome of Soccer 2010 as he grappled with Swaziland’s first summit À“ wanting to know the outcome, and also wishing he had many arms! Young and old, new and old, the school of life keeps beckoning. It keeps us engaged and invigorated. What does not break us, makes us. These reflections from 2013 can only make us even stronger in 2014!

Colleen Lowe Morna
CEO. March, 2014

Download the GL Learning Journey 2013-14

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