‘Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world,’ said Nelson Mandela. Education can certainly contribute to solving some challenges we face in South Africa. Education is not limited to providing knowledge and skills, but it also develops value systems and leadership attributes
I promised myself, I am never going to study again after qualifying as a chartered accountant, but merely two years later I was studying towards my MDP. Eight years thereafter I completed my diploma in fitness, and recently I was studying again for another board exam. I do encourage lifelong learning. I do believe we need to strive to continuously improving and developing ourselves to reach our ultimate potential and become the best version of ourselves. My daily schedule has time allocated for reading, attending webinars, and learning from my mentors and other successful people.
To me, my qualifications and experience will be worthless if I cannot use it to make an impact in the lives of others. Both my business and the Ronel Jooste Dream Foundation focus on educating people about finances and entrepreneurship. Apart from the fact that I thoroughly enjoy training and developing courses, the real reward lies in seeing the results, the transformation, the positive impact on people’s lives and confidence levels. The reward is in the moment when somebody tells you that they are debt-free, their investment portfolio is growing, or they have achieved their financial goals. That moment when the established entrepreneur experiences the break-through to see rapid business growth or when the start-up business sees the profit increasing. When a whole new world opens to a cleaner when she discovers the magic of computers. When a street vendor sees her hand-made products in a retail outlet. That person who has been retrenched regaining self-confidence and worthiness because they now have the knowledge and skills to start a successful business. The jobless parents who can provide for their families because they can earn an income from their business venture. This is what makes education both powerful and rewarding.
I believe that as chartered accountants and finance professionals, we have the knowledge, skills, experience and resources to make a visible impact in the lives of others and be the facilitators of change in South Africa. Become a mentor or support one small business financially. It does not require a lot of time or money. Just imagine if every finance professional can support one business to grow into a sustainable business to support the business owner’s family and that business can again employ one or two employees. Each person’s small gesture can facilitate magnificent change in our country. What is holding you back? ‘Be the change you want to see in the world,’ said Mahatma Gandhi.
The meaning of education
The meaning of education is variously defined as ‘the process of receiving or giving systematic instruction, especially at a school or university’ and ‘an enlightening experience’. The word ‘experience’ stands out when thinking about education. Education includes a formal qualification, but it encompasses something much broader and bigger. By educating somebody, that person is experiencing growth, development, upliftment, obtaining skills and knowledge, empowerment, and transformation. This experience makes education powerful. People go on a journey to improve and develop themselves to ultimately become a greater human being and live a better life.