Boydbronwyn

Bronwyn and Boyd Varty

on New Directions
South Africa
The Vartys are attracting a group of people who work at restoring nature.

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Exclusive Interview

Profiles of Change: Bronwyn and Boyd Varty

Tell us a few things about yourselves that will give us an idea of who you are/what you stand for?

We grew up in the wilds of Africa, on a property called Londolozi Game Reserve. We are fourth generation custodians of this land that my great grandfather bought as a bankrupt cattle farm and our family has systematically restored to thriving wilderness and world class safari destination. We see it as our duty to export what we have achieved on our little patch of Africa, specifically a sense of connection and partnership with nature, “a psychology of restoration.”

What is your mission right now, what would you like to change?

Right now our mission is to use technology and social networking to get more land under wildlife. We are attempting to create a tribe of people obsessed with restoring nature, claiming land back for animals. We have seen on our property the magic of being in partnership with nature and we are trying to spread this model to create a global movement. We also know the poorest people in the world can be radically benefited by connecting them with the economy of wildlife. Every person who works at Londolozi supports on average eight people back home. The people of Londolozi have access to a learning centre where they may go to receive education. We are looking to replicate this model. We would like to reconnect people with their spirit which is inextricably linked to nature.

What are you committed to as your legacy?

We would like to be pioneers of the age of restoration.  Restoration of land, people and the human spirit.

How can people help or support you?

By restoring a small piece of land wherever they and—even a flower pot is a start. By restoring a relationship with another person or with themselves. Shortly they will be able to join our “Rebuilding Eden” tribe.

What's your way of inspiring people who may have lost their way?

“Be the change you wish to see in the world.” No one has ever really lost their way. We try to assure people that there are no clear road maps to your destiny and no one tells you how to find your mission. Let the road present itself, get your hands off the wheel and let God drive. Ask yourself what action makes me forget about time? Today what would feel a little more like freedom? What would be fun? Keep moving towards that. You feel your way through the “lost place” to your mission. And for God’s sake ask people to help you!

What’s the best change you've ever made?

Boyd: Deciding to leave the family safari business and spend a year being guided by my inner voice is the best change I've made. Basically I woke up and said, “okay I have no idea what I’m supposed to be doing, so it's over to you God” and taking things one day at a time.

Bronwyn: Well it occurred in my mind when I started to realise that the world was as responsible for making me go forward as I was for making it spin. Basically I realised everything was responsible for me, not that I was responsible for everything. I think that sort of makes sense.

What's the hardest change you've ever faced?

Boyd: Deciding to leave the safety of the family business to be whimsical and in touch with God for a year. It's the best decision I ever made. I discovered I was born to be a voice for nature and raise money for rural people and animals.

Bronwyn: Changing my behaviour, actively stopping thinking and acting like I had to make everything happen for everyone.

What’s the best belief you have when times get tough and you’re in the midst of change?

All of us always believe that life is working for our highest evolution. Actually the situation is always neutral and our thoughts about it make it bad or good. If we think something is against us we know we need to examine our thinking. It's proven time and time again to us that often the biggest perceived disaster becomes the birth place of an opportunity.

What daily practices do you follow to keep yourselves cantered and conscious that others can learn from?

Be nice to yourself in times of change. Rest more, be disciplined about taking naps. It’s counterintuitive during the stress of change, but it’s important to have energy in reserve. A huge part of our jobs during change is to be passive. We simply need to rest and let the right path present itself to us. We keep trying to have fun as a simple daily practise.

About Bronwyn and Boyd Varty

Boyd Varty: I am currently writing my first book about reconnecting the human spirit with nature while also raising a million dollars to set up literacy centres in the rural villages of South Africa through the Good Work Foundation, of which I am board member, operations director, and chief fund-raiser. The focus of the Foundation’s work will teach a three-fold literacy: environmental, English, and computer. Our intention is to increase literacy in rural African villages as a way to promote both sustainable living and to re-establish the wildlife corridors between existing game parks. We are setting up learning centres along the planned corridor where individuals can learn everything from reading and preserving the natural environment to computer programming and IT management. The only payment required is that upon completion of a course they must go home to their village and pass along what they have learned.

Bronwyn Varty: I am the marketing director of Londolozi Game Reserve in South Africa. I am also the strategic advisor to the Good Work Foundation: I see it as my mission to help the Good Work Foundation communicate the incredible work it’s doing to help needy communities achieve literacy. I believe that service is the new frontier, and I think that in times of change it’s critical that we all look for outlets to serve and build community.