The Power of Networking - How What's Your Story? found a home in Durban

“Networking is not about just connecting people. It’s about connecting people with people, people with ideas and people with opportunities.

Author of The Connectworker, Michele Jennae was spot on when she said these words, and at Heartlines, we believe in the power of networking and its ability to yield positive results.

We’re pleased to announce that coming out of one of our most powerful networking sessions to date, held in Durban, we will be opening a satellite office there to expand our What’s Your Story? campaign bringing about peace, reconciliation and understanding among South Africans.

What’s Your Story? church mobilisation manager, Brian Helsby,  says Heartlines is ready to train new trainers and facilitators to run a successful operation in Durban.

“We were successful in all of our 10 meetings held over a period of three days where 30 key people met in Durban, and we have identified seven individuals and organisations who will spearhead the campaign,” he says.

One of those people is Pastor Garon Govender of Christian Fellowship church and founder of Sikhanyisa Foundation in Mendini, KwaZulu-Natal. The foundation does work in the area of personal, community and small business development, and he believes it will benefit from What’s Your Story?

“We live in a community segregated by race, gender and class and we are passionate about doing work that connects people across boundaries,” he says.

“Beyond the River is a movie that we absolutely want to use as part of our reconciliation efforts and we will introduce it in our youth ministry as young people are trying to find their identity in our segregated society,” he adds.

Heartlines’ What’s Your Story? lead facilitator, Seth Naicker, says the networking session in Durban aimed to connect with people like Garon who run hybrid organisations that focus on business, development and church.

“There has been a lot of conflict in KZN between people and political parties and churches are in the midst of this. We want to create empathy, build trust and see what reconciliation means in this region,” he says. “There are people from churches that are multicultural and they want to know how to come together. There is a need for this kind of engagement.”

Seth says they started building their Durban network as far back as 2016 and is glad that 80% of the people that they had connected with over the years attended the final session.

“As of today, someone has offered to take on long-term work to do events and training operations from our satellite office, and will be a go-between in a multiple stakeholder process,” he says.

“We will also have people who will be regional training facilitators, and within the next two months we would like to come back to spend some time training new trainers, to help them understand the tools we use.”

Seth says they want to see the What’s Your Story? campaign develop a great reach in KZN over the next year through a process of collaboration, so that a solid foundation will be set to introduce new campaigns that Heartlines will be rolling out in the future.

This project was made possible through the support of a grant from Templeton Religion Trust. The opinions expressed in this publication are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of Templeton Religion Trust.