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Rewardsco Leadership Conference: Empathy and Teamwork in Action

The recent Rewardsco Leadership Conference was not your typical corporate event but a lesson in compassion, teamwork and giving back.

From 21 to 22 November, the Rewardsco team, comprising 28 managers, dove headfirst into a schedule packed with activities aimed at creating collaboration and growth.

Hosts Dylan Koen, Group Commercial Director, and Kirsty Fonzari, Group Head of Marketing,
held masterclass sessions before the participants were split into four teams to go head to head in a gourmet Masterchef braaibroodjie cookoff and an Amazing Race challenge that put their communication and collaboration skills to the test.

The highlight of the jam-packed two-day event was the donation of wheelchairs to four deserving young students from the Ethembeni Special School in Drummond. The final challenge was for each team to assemble and add their decorative flair to the new wheelchairs before they were presented to Aphile Ngobese (12), Amanda Ndlovu (14), Nwabisa Mchunu (12) and Ayanda Chonco (15).

The impact of this gesture was beautifully captured by Yonela Msoki, a teacher at Ethembeni, who highlighted the significance of these wheelchairs. Msoki emphasised the newfound independence and enhanced learning opportunities these chairs would provide the girls.

“These children are about to go out of the school. Often what happens when their parents come to take them home is that they don’t have wheelchairs to take the children home with them. Usually, you’ll find the parents will have to carry their children on their backs and have to take public transport, so this is really a beautiful gift and we really appreciate this,” Msoki said.

An emotional Ayanda Chonco, who will be going home to her mother, siblings and grandmother said, “This is the first time getting a new wheelchair. I didn’t know this was going to happen. I thought we were going to an awards ceremony. I feel so surprised and excited and I think my family is going to be even happier”.

Another recipient, 13-year-old Akhona Ngobese, summed up the day perfectly: “I’m so happy, I don’t have words! This just means so much”.

For Koen, the experience showed how the business could have far-reaching effects by working collectively. “Some of the things we’ve been exposed to and being given the opportunity to give back to something much greater has been a humbling experience”, Koen said. “Our competitive spirits certainly signifies that we are a bunch of winners with a huge desire to achieve. The last two days have been unbelievable”.

Koen said that the conference also highlighted the wealth of talent within Rewardsco.

“Having two days away where the whole leadership team is gone really says a lot about the people we have back in the business that respect their opportunity to shine. That, for me, says a huge amount and tells me that we actually have an amazing foundation. I hope that we can use this as a stepping stone to really take that foundation forward because that is ultimately what it’s all about.”

View our video below for all the behind-the-scenes excitement from our 2023 Leadership Conference.

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Fathima Dildar
Chief Business Development Officer - International
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