Hi, my name is Gail M and I’m the founder of Girl with a Purpose Foundation, a registered non-profit organization aimed to equip and empower youth. Although it was tough to cancel most of our programs this year, such as our annual speech competition, monthly pads drive, birthday celebrations, etc. due to the lockdown and the pandemic, we have been working tirelessly to make sure that we do home-schooling with these kids just to keep them busy and help them recover and be prepared when they return to school. We had to reach out to the community to volunteer in teaching subjects that they have difficulties with such as maths, science, accounting, English, etc. I won’t lie, it hasn’t been easy because most of these kids have limited access to the internet and can’t always do video calls as most of our tutors are in other provinces. We also introduced a new agriculture program and that worked best during lockdown, it kept most kids busy with outside activities.
With the number of cases increasing in South Africa, we can only hope that we won’t lose lives but have more people recovering. Truth is a lot has changed. The abnormal is becoming normal. Ever since the lockdown was declared due to the global pandemic that has shocked many, bringing the world to a standstill, many people have lost their jobs and more families have been affected leaving them financially strained. School and universities are closed down to avoid the spread and sadly many learners are falling behind. Most universities are doing online learning which for most students is a big adjustment and not so productive. As for primary school and high school learners, its tough. Only those who go to private schools are getting lessons and the rest from public schools are home doing nothing which is frustrating becoming frustrating for them.
Personally for me, it hasn’t been easy especially the lockdown. I had to work from home and with the kind of work I do which is dealing with huge finances because I’m working for an investment company, it was straining but at the same time I learned that it is possible to work from home and be able to spend time with family. I truly enjoyed my time though sometimes it wasn’t so nice because staying in one place can affect even your productivity, however, I used that time to also equip myself and think of creative ideas that I can use to contribute to my community.
I also run a publication company and image consultation company and everything just came to a standstill because there was no way we could print any books for clients or buy materials for clothes. The main product of my image consulting company is that we hire graduation gowns and since graduation ceremonies were postponed, it was a challenge. So all I can say is, its been tough. However, through all this, I still have great hope that we shall recover from this and we will be stronger than ever before. I’m also working on new strategies for my business and learning more about digital marketing which I believe will contribute a lot to grow my business. When all has been said and done, we choose to remain standing and look forward to what is ahead.