"We are in the business of unleashing human potential." says owners of Naries Namakwa Retreat (Namaqualand) and d'Olyfboom Family Estate (Paarl), Danny and Garitha de Wit.
- 1. WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO FOLLOW THIS ROUTE TO ACHIEVING YOUR VISION?
This was a conscious decision made after starting up Naries Namakwa Retreat where the couple worked side by side with staff employed from the local community."We realised then that the hospitality industry is a vehicle which is particularly well suited to working closely with people from all walks of life and skill sets. It offers an incredible opportunity to train, educate and give wings to those who want to fly," Danny continues.
Garitha adds that they originally thought about an either/or future, which then turned into a partnership between the two ideals: ministry and business. "Soin 2006 Naries became an economic unit, with a vision to build competence and character."
- 2. HOW DID d'OLYFBOOM COME INTO BEING?
With Naries well launched, the couple started looking at a site which allows better opportunities for leveraging the business- ministry model.In October 2010 they acquired and moved to d'Olyfboom Family Estate in Paarl.
- 3. TELL US MORE ABOUT PROGRESS SINCE THEN AT d' OLYFBOOM?
The initial plan was to start a hotel school on the premises. However, it was soon found that the facilities were not ready yet.With a set of two year old twins, Garitha's passion forholistic and character-based education soon came to the fore. Assisted by fellow therapist and mother-to-be Elana Loubser, a new school started in a shed.
Today, 6 years later Family Tree Leadership Academy partners passionately with parents in raising world changers. The overall business model is sustained by an ecosystem of guestrooms, conferencing and a Bistro in this historic venue.
- 4. HOW DO YOU MANAGE TO WORK TOGETHER AND KEEP YOUR RELATIONSHIP HEALTHY?
"We are privileged to share gifts and passions which compliment each other. We are both passionate about seeing the potential in people unleashed, which brings about alignment in priorities. It includes giving our relationship top priority. i.e. regular date nights and weekend retreats," Danny explains.
- 5. HOW DO YOU SPEND YOUR TIME WHEN NOT AT WORK?
We love to go on holiday together and although a seaside getaway is the ultimate for Garitha,Danny loves general travelling and seeing new places.To satisfy his adventurous streak, Danny will often be found flying aerobatics and motorcycling around the countryside. Garitha explains:"We do make time to follow our own dreams and like to spend time alone for example at a Retreat to recharge our batteries, but we love doing things together too!"Danny adds:"Our relationship is intentional – we work on it and we both want to keep our marriage alive and well, which is so important in our intense work/family life"
- 6. WHAT DOES THE FUTURE HOLD?
Garitha wants to continue with her passion; training and teaching in the educational field. She especially loves to be involved in development and creating of new curriculums for the Leadership Academy. She is also involvedin staff activities and motivational training.Danny is a regular speaker at local and internationalFathering events and says that he sees himself as a social entrepreneur rather than a business entrepreneur.
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