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Aga, Diego, and I – none of us with any background on how non-government organizations (NGOs) work, or should work, have been “advising” an NGO that has been working in South Africa for over 18 years!  We have been working our tale off for the past 3+ weeks and driving each other to raise the bar in terms of the quality of the work.  The NGO is already using what we suggested to run their projects. More importantly, they are using collateral and engagement approach we provided to establish new projects with industrial customers.  How is this possible?  That is Khulisa’s culture – empower individuals, be open and honest, and let everyone deliver their best!  Use the best material you have, apply it, and improve it with field experience! 

Aga, Diego, and I are working with Khulisa (Khulisa) for our Social Sabbatical project.  Khulisa is working to re-innovate itself – Move from mostly government funded projects to establish stronger relationship with the industrial sponsors. Such transformations are far from easy. It is such an honor that we have the opportunity to work with these passionate people – driven to make a positive difference in people’s lives!

Working in South Africa for the past three weeks has been a blast.  Twelve of us with unique work and cultural background jelled together over multiple meals (and smokes for some…) and discussions.  There is hardly a better way to understand SAP colleagues than a Social Sabbatical set up.  Folks across the ponds have a lot more in common than a typical conference call exchange may make us believe!

South Africa is arguably one of the most charming countries.  It has wonderful landscape and impressive national parks.  I managed to visit Kruger National Park twice in the past three weeks. And I cannot wait to go back!  What attracts me to the park?  May be the vastness of the park, variety of the landscape, and yes, the element of surprise!  It is indeed an enchanting place! 

This week all teams are busy wrapping the projects.  We are scheduled to leave for home Saturday.  This would be end of the Social Sabbatical and beginning of a new chapter for us.  Something within has been touched in the past month. 

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