Line Hadsbjerg was born to a nomadic life. Although originally Danish, as a young child she lived in Kenya, and then moved to South Africa where she completed her schooling. She says "I have lived with a foot in both continents: Europe and Africa, and continue to do so."
Photo: SA - The Good News.
After completing a Bachelors in Anthropology and English at UCT, she went on to complete a Masters in International Development Studies in the UK. This led her to the European capital, Brussels – a world of politics, European affairs and lobbyists. But distant horizons were calling, so together with her husband, they sailed across the Atlantic, and the island of Mallorca off the coast of Spain was their last port of call.
She started a travel company, offering tailor made travel to East and Southern Africa, but wanted to return to her passion for development, and so in 2006 co-founded www.betterplace.org
– now Germany’s leading online giving platform. Remarkable South Africans – The Book
In 2008 she started working on her book, "Remarkable South Africans" which was published in 2010. Having co-founded betterplace.org and being exposed to some very inspiring projects in South Africa,
"I wanted to know the people behind these initiatives – many of which were remote grassroots projects. And so I decided to combine my desire for writing with my passion for positive change and development in a country that I love, which led me to the idea of writing this book.
"But instead of focusing on projects, I wanted to focus on people – and not only the well known celebrities, but also the ‘everyday giants’ of our nation – individuals who despite their limited resources, give of themselves beyond their means and contribute to humanity.
"Each inspiring individual spoke of their own heroes. There are so many people that we could have included in this book, there are so many stories that could still be told. As we travelled I realised more and more that we all have a story to tell, we all have the capacity to be a remarkable South African, and in a country like South Africa, there is more than enough opportunity to reach out to those in need.
"So, on deciding the final 27 I did not limit myself to any strict criteria, and to be honest, many were selected based on gut feeling. As much as possible, I let the stories come to me. Via my website, www.remarkableworld.org
people could nominate who they felt were remarkable South Africans, and many of the 27 people featured, came to me this way – individuals telling personal stories about others that they know. Of course there are some well known names like Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Minister Trevor Manuel or Johnny Clegg – but I deliberately wanted to include the stories of those who are completely unknown, but who have gone beyond their call of purpose in life to benefit their communities, and thereby the nation.
"I wanted to create a book that not only carries a powerful message, but also something that is aesthetically beautiful, with inspiring portraits that captures the spirit of our nation. Once I had done several field trips preparing and researching for the book, photographer Pep Bonet, his assistant Joan Roig and myself travelled for 2 months across South Africa, driving more than 13,000 kilometres, meeting new people, doing interviews and taking pictures in our quest to capture the best of the human spirit.
"The entire Remarkable South Africans
initiative is a non-profit venture. Proceeds from the book sales go to supporting selected projects chosen by the individuals featured. My business Remarkable World Philanthropy is a Public Beneficiary through which book sales are being processed, and the website is my ongoing blog about the initiative and relevant issues.
"Ultimately - this entire venture represents the nation, and belongs to all South Africans. These lives and stories are all of our stories - we all have the capacity to be remarkable and help change our country for the better.
"The book, and the entire Remarkable South Africans initiative aims to inspire the people of South Africa, from all levels and parts of our mixed society, carrying the message – make a change, be remarkable!"
So simply by buying a book you can make a contribution and a difference! Contact Line Hadsbjerg at firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.