At Edu-fy, our idea is to uplift everybody, no matter who they are. I carry an image in my head of a little girl outside her hut and she’s finished all her chores for the day and she’s got her mobile phone and she’s learning maths skills. She’s getting that joy of learning and she’s the one I’m working for.
I have a basic degree in Psych and Genetics and then I did a Master of Education later on. From the time my kids were little, I saw I had a passion for teaching and within the education system I could just see there weren’t many catering for the kids who were falling through the gaps.
I had an idea how I might solve this problem. I took early retirement and created a game and an app called Straylings. It’s free to download and anybody can play it. Instead of telling your kids to go and learn their times tables, they have a game-based reason to learn them
But I was always doubting. I was passionate on the teaching side but there were so many other skills required – I had no idea how to run a business, absolutely zero. I know my skills as an educator 100 per cent, but as a businessperson, as the CEO of a company, as the spokesperson of a company, I’m terribly shy.
I also believe ageism has made my job harder. I always say I wear three invisibility cloaks. One is being a woman, then there’s race, and then there’s age.
I once walked into a room at a networking event and this guy comes up to me and says ‘What are you doing here?’ I said, ‘Oh, I have a start-up, I’m making an app.’ And, he goes, ‘An app? You? How old are you?’
You come across the odd person who can really put a dent in what you’re trying to do. But all the support you get from people around is what builds you up to be the person you need to be. You just have to bounce back.
Global Sisters is a safe space to be who you are with all the faults that you think you’re bringing to the room. But, because you can do that, you can also show how good you are. What they’re doing is precious and they do it from the time you have an inkling about an idea right up to fruition and beyond. They provide a scaffold so you’re not going to fall.
Setting up Edu-fy and creating Straylings has been really tough. But I believe all this will one day be something to laugh at because it will all be worth it.