21 Days of Hope
With the harsh and unprecedented reality we are facing today with COVID-19, the Sešego Foundation wants to offer “21 Days of Hope” to remind us of the many big and small things people are doing across the country (and the world) to get us through the difficult days ahead. Sešego has been actively engaged in disrupting poverty by initiating, supporting and expanding a host of community development projects across Southern Africa for the past 15 years. In keeping with our theme, we want to highlight some of our past and current projects that inspire us and can serve as sources of inspiration to others. More importantly, through these stories we want to remind everyone of the tremendous courage, resourcefulness and resilience that South Africans embody in their everyday lives. Please join us in saluting the tireless efforts of our heroes, sheroes and partners.
Day 1: A Stitch to Sew Hope
The Sešego Foundation is a strong believer in the power of a singular action to create great change – that social change is achieved one stitch at a time. Our stitch in this story began 7 years ago when the Sešego Foundation provided Robyn Le Roux with 3 sewing machines for Chayil Foundation, a Rehabilitation Centre. Robyn was volunteering at the rehabilitation centre when she became aware of the lack of opportunities facing the women there. With Robyn’s resourcefulness and Sešego’s passion to help individuals who want to transform their communities, new opportunities and Le Fleur Fashion were created. Robyn began training vulnerable women who had experienced drug trafficking in design, pattern-making, and sewing to make them more independent and self-reliant.
Over the years, the sewing program has evolved from helping only women in rehabilitation and involved in drug trafficking to supporting women and youth affected by gender-based violence, illnesses, and anyone struggling to find employment. Her programme has grown from the rehabilitation centre to its own live-in building to support healing, safety, community upliftment, and skill building for at-risk women. Today, there are around 50 people who are currently in the programme with 8 women living-in, and over 1,000 children being feed each week. From a few sewing machines, a whole community has been strengthened and supported.
With the outbreak of COVID-19, Sešego has continued its partnership with Robyn to find creative ways of plugging the gap. Through extensive fabric and pattern research and testing, Robyn has created a Barrier Protective Mask. With sewing workshops set up at some of the sewer’s homes and those living at the centre, Robyn and her team are sewing these masks to help protect our communities. Together we are focused on providing help to the most vulnerable: our elderly and people living in townships and informal settlements.
Sešego is donating to the production of 1,300 masks and the distribution of all to these at-risk populations. Today the first 300 masks were given to third party supporters of essential services. These masks are not for industrial or medical grade use, but can help save and protect people by being worn while in taxis, grocery shopping, or providing and getting other essential goods and services. Help support our efforts by going to https://bit.ly/sesegodonate on the Loving Thy Neighbour platform and donating to Sešego and Robyn today.
Day 2: Warming Our Hearts with Wool
The Wool Project has been an ongoing project of Sešego in our 13 year history as a community development foundation. Last week, we showcased the amazing work the Busy Bees at Rooseveldt Park’s Rose Village have created, donating their time to knit and crochet these scarves, beanies, blankets, jerseys and more. To date, Sešego has distributed over 13,500 woollen items to vulnerable communities in South Africa. We will continue to supply the wool to spread warmth across South Africa, especially with the upcoming winter not far away.
“On behalf of the beneficiaries of this project, I would like to thank Rooseveldt Park’s busy-bees, a group of seniors, for their incredible work, passion and kindness. I am always amazed by the swiftness at which they produce these items and the love, creativity and care that has gone into making each garment is clearly evident,” says Annemarie Mostert, Sešego’s founding member.
Being able to stay warm is a key requirement of staying healthy. With the outbreak of COVID-19, we are so happy to know thousands of children and their families in townships and informal settlements across the country are better equipped to protect themselves against illness. A wonderful way you can help and stay busy during this lockdown is to knit or crochet scarves, beanies, blankets, jerseys, and anything you can think of to help give warmth to these vulnerable communities. Keep following us to know where our collection site for your donations will be post-lockdown.
Day 3: In Solidarity with Our Doctors (Thuma Mina South Africa)
The harsh reality we face today with COVID-19 has resulted in one of South Africa’s most urgent and pressing Thuma Mina (send me) moments in recent history. In this unprecedented battle against the virus, our doctors are on the frontlines fighting for all of us. They are sacrificing their own safety for the safety of all. Pictures of exhausted doctors and nurses from around the world have been going viral and as our own COVID-19 numbers climb, our health care workers are tirelessly working like never before. But they cannot do it alone. You have an important role to play in flattening the curve. Here are a few easy tips to follow to do your part and support our health care workers:
- Abide by the lockdown and stay home! Only to go out for essentials like food and medicine.
- If you are feeling ill, self-isolate and contact your local doctor.
- If your symptoms get worse, get tested (make sure to call ahead and let them know you might be positive so the clinic or hospital can prepare) and try to quarantine yourself as much as possible. If you don’t live alone, try to remain in one room with as much distance from those you live with as possible.
- Wash your hands often! Make sure your hands are washed before you go outside for essentials and as soon as you enter your home again for at least 20 seconds. Be cautious to not touch your face before you wash your hands!
- Clean and disinfect your ‘high-touch’ surfaces! These include countertops, doorknobs, phones, chairs and anything you might touch daily. You can use any household cleaning spray and a cloth. Make sure you wash the cloth immediately after too! Repeat this cleaning often to keep the germs away.
- When you do go outside, wear a mask! Whether you are feeling sick or not, you are protecting yourself and others from the spread of COVID-19. No need to rush to buy the medical grade masks which need to be reserved for health care workers; you can support a local business and buy a mask from Le Fleur!
- If you have excess masks, gloves, and hand sanitizer, see if your local hospital can benefit from a donation!
South African doctors have purposed a challenge in this video to the nation: to support and donate to the Solidarity Fund.
The Sešego Foundation stands in solidarity with our nation’s health care workers as we support these healthy initiatives and the Le Fleur organization to make and distribute their masks. Please stand with us and the health care workers by donating to the Sešego Foundation via our Loving Thy Neighbour platform, as well as to the national Solidarity Fund.
Day 4: Water – The Backbone of Life
With health being one of the pillars of Sešego’s program areas, we have a long history of supporting health-based initiatives in Southern African communities. Access to clean water is a basic necessity for healthy living. As renewable energy shifts from the fringe to the mainstream of sustainable development, Sešego Foundation embarked on a joint venture with international partners from Rotary in Germany, the United Kingdom as well as Rotary Foundation and Rand Water to install R1,4 million worth of solar water pumps starting in 2015 that benefited over 2,820 children from various schools in Lesotho, namely: Molipa Primary School, Morate High School, Hleoheng High School, Masenate High School, St. Saviours Primary School, and Leribe High School, as well as community members within the respective areas.
The solar water pumps introduced clean water technologies for the Lesotho communities that previously had no reliable source of clean water. The energy for irrigation has increased food production and access to nutrition; reduced time spent by school-going children on basic survival activities, such as fetching water; and water pumping and purification has greatly reduced the risk of water borne diseases. “As energy to power the water pumps comes directly from the sun, the solar pumping water systems will also reduce the emission of carbon into the atmosphere, thereby allowing the community the added benefit of adapting to a more efficient and sustainable water system,” commented Annemarie Mostert, CEO of Sešego Foundation. Sešego has also assisted and partnered with various other communities in bringing clean drinking water to thousands of people.
With the current pandemic, access to clean water is vital. Our interventions in 2015 will drastically cut down the possible infection rate by giving people access to safe clean water for washing hands, cleaning, bathing, and drinking today. The added benefits of the irrigation strengthen the immune system as it provides proper and sustainable nutrition for community members. We at Sešego are committed to championing these long-lasting, sustainable projects with our partnering communities. Please go to https://bit.ly/sesegodonate to help us continue to plug the gap.
Day 5: Stay Home, Stay Busy
South Africa epitomizes the Ubuntu spirit, that community is everything. It may seem that the stay-at-home order may be in opposition to this ideal, but it continues to showcase South Africa’s communal spirit. Staying in your home is for the benefit of everyone – yourself, your family, neighbours, friends, the cashiers at the grocery stores, our healthcare workers. The only truly effective way of managing the infection rate is staying home. If we all commit ourselves to only go outside for essential items and practicing social distancing when we can, then we as a country can overcome this virus – but only if we do it together.
Staying at home for a full 21 days might seem daunting, but there are many ways you can keep your days interesting. Here we have compiled a list of 50 things to do to stay busy:
- If you’re working from home, create a little home office. This doesn’t need to be its own room, you can even section off a part of the kitchen table to set up a little desk to keep you in the right mindset.
- Exercising releases endorphins which can help fight off feelings of restlessness and anxiety during the lockdown. There are many free exercising tips and videos across the internet you can do right from your house!
- Ease your mind and soul and download a meditation app or search for meditations on YouTube!
- Improve your cooking skills and try out new recipes!
- Complete a puzzle! Or 2…or 3…
- Take up drawing or painting.
- Learn a new language. We have 11 in our own country you can choose from or download an app like Duolingo to get you started!
- Knit or crochet! Don’t have a project in mind? You can always knit/crochet blankets, jerseys, beanies, scarves, or anything to stay warm for our Wool Project. Keep following us to learn where our drop off centre will be post-lockdown.
- Take up photography. Most phones nowadays have great cameras even!
- Stay in touch with friends and family on WhatsApp video, Skype, or Zoom.
- Make a puppet show. Grab some socks to throw on your hands as puppets or use a torch for a shadow puppet show. Entertaining for all ages!
- Take a class or learn a new skill. Organizations like EdX and Coursera offer hundreds of free online classes at leading universities all over the world!
- Rearrange your furniture to freshen up your interior.
- Do some self-maintenance care. Do a face mask, paint your nails, take a bubble bath, etc.
- Experiment with your makeup. There are many YouTube makeup tutorials to test out and feel fresh when you step outside again.
- Have an indoor picnic. Make some space in a room and lay a blanket out with some sandwiches, fruit, and chips for a fun lunch!
- Read those books you’ve been wanting to.
- Have a movie night with friends virtually using Netflix Party.
- Write thank-you letters to your friends and family, and the grocery store and healthcare workers in your area for helping you and the country get through this trying time.
- Organize that closet or cupboard you’ve been meaning to for a while now.
- Pause and reflect on how you are and what will make you happy in this time.
- Pull up some chairs, pillows and throw a blanket on top for a fort party! Watch a movie or have lunch to shake things up, especially with the kids, but fun is for all ages!
- Interview your grandparents, over the phone or in person if they live with you, and write a story about their life and how different it is to yours today.
- Make a book, movie, and TV list of things you’ve enjoyed and share and trade them with friends and family!
- Look through all your old pictures and make a scrapbook or 2!
- Write a book with your family members. Each person gets a page and once you are done, send it to the person next to you. You can hide what the person wrote before to make it a humorous game!
- Play some board games with the people you live with.
- Learn a new dance!
- Become ambidextrous! Try doing things only with your non-dominant hand for a whole day and see how good you can get!
- Get lots of sleep. Don’t worry about not being your most productive, this is a time to focus on your mental health too.
- If you have a yard, start gardening!
- Pick up your old instrument and practice!
- If having something to look forward to is helpful, plan a trip or outing in town for when the lockdown is over.
- Deep clean your house. Move that refrigerator and really get in there!
- Act out one of your or your kids favourite books with your family!
- Make a daily routine and try to stick to it. Have structure can maintain a feel of normalcy, but don’t feel bad if you veer off the schedule! Life happens.
- Teach your kid(s) your favourite easy recipe, or a family recipe and make mealtime a family affair.
- Set up a scavenger hunt and hide your kids’ toys or other fun things around the house for them to find!
- Take a virtual museum tour. Many museums around the world have online tours available now, look up your favourite or one you’ve always wanted to go to and see if you can visit it right from your couch!
- Teach your dog, or cat, a new trick!
- Listen to a comedian and Frozen actor Josh Gad read children stories with all the fun voices posted on his Twitter (@joshgad) with the hashtag #GadBookClub
- Start a book club with some friends or family! Set a number of pages or chapters to read each week and get together (if you live together) or video chat about what you read!
- This can be a fun activity to keep track of your days and a good way to process some of your emotions throughout this period with all the changes you are experiencing.
- Create your own board game! Get some paper or cardboard and get creative!
- Sit down and have everyone in your house draw one person there. For an extra fun twist, try to do it without looking or picking up your pen! Share your artwork with everyone when you are all done.
- Pick your favourite actor or director and start a ‘watch bucket list’ of their work.
- Have a skills trade day at home! Have each person in your house prepare a mini lesson on one of their skills or talents and have them teach the others. In the end, everyone will have a few new skills or talents!
- Host an online dinner party with friends and family over WhatsApp video, Skype, or Zoom!
- Have a house member chose a topic of the day to learn about!
- Donate to the Sešego Foundation at https://bit.ly/sesegodonate and support our efforts to uplift communities in Southern Africa.
Day 6: Myth Busters
The uncertainty surrounding COVID-19 has sent a lot of people searching for their own information. After discovering supposed facts and prevention methods through Google searches, social media, and WhatsApp, many have been sharing this information with well-meant intentions. Unfortunately, a lot of this information is not from scientists or reputable sources. Sharing unverified information has led to mass misinformation being distributed across the world. The consequences of spreading these myths is a serious matter of health. The World Health Organization has posted the myths and their facts which we are sharing here: https://www.who.int/
Please repost and share this information across your social media and WhatsApp. Sharing the correct information is vital and can save lives. Bring some more truth and hope to people’s lives and share.
Day 7: Spreading Truth and Hope, Not Fear
As misinformation continues to spread and there is controversy over some appropriate safety measures, we at the Sešego Foundation would like to share some confirmed health advisory tips, courtesy of the National Department of Health. Unknown and false information creates anxiety and fearmongering in our communities. While these “facts” may have been shared with good intentions, we all must commit ourselves to checking our sources to protect ourselves and communities. Continue to practice healthy habits: wash your hands for at least 20 seconds; self-isolate; if you are going out in public or live where it is difficult to isolate, then wear a mask if you are feeling ill or have been in contact with someone ill; only leave your house for essential goods and services; if you feel ill, call your local doctor or clinic to get tested. Additionally, follow the guidelines outlined in the graphics above. Share this information with your friends, families, and communities and in local languages and help us to continue to spread truth and hope, not fear.
Day 8: Education is Foundational
Education is the foundation of a healthy and prosperous life. Since our inception, the Sešego Foundation has dedicated itself to supporting educational efforts. Our first investment in education as a foundation started in 2007 with the Leseding Learning Academy in Orange Farm. We donated R1,6 million for renovations, desks and chairs, and stationery. In addition, one of our first partnerships as Sešego Cares (our previous name) was with School-Aid. Together we supported learners, educators and schools in township areas by creating science centres, classrooms and libraries out of old shipping containers; and providing a professional soccer coaching clinic with Everton FC in Tembisa, Eldorado Park and Alexandra. We also moved enough books for 200 libraries to be set up around the Kruger National Park – working with University of Johannesburg, SANPARKS, the Humanitarian Centre as well as the Rotary E Club of SA 9400.
Early Childhood Development (ECD) has also been a big focus area. Last year, 168 women and ECD practitioners from 28 ECD facilities from the Alexandra Township in Johannesburg were trained in how to better manage their businesses. For 6 months, these dedicated women have undergone intensive training, attending the Greater Alex Early Childhood Development and Literacy Programme.
This programme, initiated by the Rotary E Club of Southern Africa D9400 was made possible by the RotaryFoundation, the Sešego Foundation, the City of Johannesburg, the Alexandra ECD Forums as well as RotaryClubs from Germany and the Rotary International Foundation (USA) through the Global Fund, with support of approximately R1 million. The training aims to empower ECD teachers with the skills and knowledge they need to grow sustainable businesses as they prepare young children in Alexandra Township for formal schooling. The training was based on the needs and concerns raised by the teachers themselves and will impact 2346 learners.
Some of the topics included in the training were: Leadership and Communication, Financial Management andReporting, Classroom Management, Record-Keeping, Governance Training and Occupational Health andSafety. Twenty-five years into democracy, millions of children in South Africa are still negatively impacted daily by a range of social and economic inequalities including poor nutrition, inadequate access to health care, social services and quality education. The Sešego Foundation believes that this training will make a demonstrable difference in the community of Alex and will go a long way in improving the lives of our most vulnerable members of our society – our children. More than ever, our country needs creative, inspiring and empowered teachers to shape and develop a new generation of children.
Day 9: Creating Community
Part of the success of Sešego is based on its ability to foster strategic partnerships with like-minded organisations aimed at meeting the needs of those who are vulnerable in various communities in South Africa and the SADC region. One of our great partnerships was with Dr. Pat Francis, Founder of Pat Francis Ministries and Pat Francis Trust, a registered charity in Canada. The Pat Francis Trust partnered with Sešego Foundation, the North West Provincial Social Development and Chief Mathibe to establish Covenant Gardens Estate (CGE), in Mathibestad, North West Province, a multi-purpose facility for the benefit of the community of Mathibestad. Sešego provided R1 350 million in cash and in-kind support to build this facility that today provides a beacon of hope to the most vulnerable children in the community. The multi-purpose facility provides not only accommodation to care givers but also provides medical support, counseling, after care as well as a safe place for learners to get support, study and do their homework.
“We want to restore prosperity to people at risk in South Africa. We believe that children are the hope for the future and through our focus on education we will seek to ensure their lives are transformed from ‘systemic poverty to systemic prosperity.’ I believe that ‘In every acorn there is an oak tree; in every child there is a king’” said Dr. Pat Francis.
Annemarie Mostert, CEO of Sešego Foundation, said “Sešego Foundation has partnered with CGE due to the alignment of the vision of sustainable upliftment of vulnerable people and communities. We are proud to be associated with the vision of CGE. In particular we are committed to supporting the realisation of the objective of bringing hope, security, dignity and brighter futures for the vulnerable children and the community of Mathibestad.”
The centre has a strong focus on health and wellness, skills training and job creation. Over the past years, jobs were created in the baking and food security sectors. Qualified medical doctors and personnel support the community from CGE. House visits are also conducted. Junior soccer players bring great excitement during the local games played over the weekends. This project has truly become a community centre in every sense of the word. With the support of qualified doctors and personnel, members of Mathibestad will be able to get high quality local medical help – a life-saving service that is necessary now more than ever.
Day 10: To Wear a Mask, or Not to Wear a Mask…
While the great mask debate rages on and scientific evidence is still out on a conclusive answer, some protection can better than nothing. Masks have been proven to reduce transmission from those who have COVID-19. Most who are carriers will exhibit some symptoms, but cases of asymptomatic positive COVID-19 carriers are not unknown; this means that you can protect others and yourself more than you may know just by wearing masks. Masks can also be beneficial for those who are not privileged enough to be able to socially distance. South Africa is in a unique position, having a high population living in close quarters in townships and informal settlements.
Whether it is to protect yourself or those around you, masks can offer some aid and peace of mind. You can follow directions from the US Center for Disease Control to make your own at home at bit.ly/MaskCDC. It is crucial, however, to ascribe to a strict hygiene routine while wearing one:
- Wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or an alcohol-based sanitizer.
- Loop mask around your ears, or tie behind your head without touching the front of the mask. Make sure your mask fits properly with no openings between the mask and your skin.
- When wearing your mask avoid adjusting or touching it as you can transfer germs from your hands to the mask and vice versa or make the mask ineffective by stretching the fit.
- Once you get home, immediately wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or an alcohol-based sanitizer. Then, unloop or untie your mask without touching the front of the mask. If your mask is single use, throw it away; if it is fabric or material, wash your mask either with laundry soap and hot water before you use it again.
Still, the best way to protect yourself is to stay home. Having a mask is not a cure-all to save you from contracting COVID-19; please continue to socially distance and stay home.
Day 11: There is Always a Rainbow Somewhere
In a time filled with worry and distressing news, it can be hard not to be anxiety-ridden yourself. However, in these dreary times, light can still shine. Elle magazine has made a compilation of 45 feel good stories to brighten your day which we have shared below. We hope you read these stories and smile, knowing and hoping for the rainbow to come out from the rain.
Day 12: An Isolation Guide from the Professionals
For some, isolation can be daunting. What are you supposed to do all day by yourself?? For others, however, it is anything but new. From a monk in the UK to a researcher in the South Pole to a submarine captain and more, these people are professionals at living an isolated life. Read the tips and strategies they employ and suggest for us all during this time below at The Guardian: https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2020/apr/01/start-a-daily-routine-and-make-the-weekends-different-the-isolation-experts-guide-to-lockdown-living-coronavirus
Day 13: Putting Education First with Ruth First Trust
The Sešego Foundation is committed to supporting educational opportunities in Southern African communities. We see this as a fundamental pillar in our motto: disrupting poverty. Education is a principle foundation to building a bright future. This passion for education led us to work with the Jeppe High School for Girls, where we were instrumental in starting their Ruth First Jeppe Memorial Trust – a scholarship programme that we have continued to sponsor to support girls education.
Sešego acted as an advisor in offering advice and guidance on legal and compliance issues for setting up the Trust. Sešego’s instrumental help went as far as the launch of the programme itself – inviting and hosting Gillian Slovo as a presenter, who came from the UK for the launch.
Sešego “has remained an inspirational and loyal supporter of the scholarship programme which is now in its tenth year and has already had over a hundred merit-worthy young ladies as recipients,” said Kevin Tait, Manager of the Ruth First Jeppe Memorial Trust.
After the launch of the Trust, the programme became a beneficiary of Sešego’s annual Golf Day, where Sešego gave a cheque of R100,000 to support the tuition fees of one learner for five years. All of the then recipients were invited to the post-golf events where one of the girls had the opportunity to address the golfers and express her gratitude.
We have been so proud to be a part of uplifting this community and furthering the academic success of South Africans. The girls from this Trust have gone on to further their studies and have attained degrees is STEM, law, and more.
Their partnerships and outreach continue to grow, with Constitutional Court Justice Albie Sachs as one of their Patrons. In an interview conducted by Latitude Asks Questions with Judge Sachs on COVID-19 before the lockdown, the biggest take-away was his sense of hope and togetherness: “today we offer to humanity the healing word – Ubuntu. We will get through this disaster, and because of our thoughtfulness, generosity, and, yes, our idealism, we the people will emerge – wounded, but stronger.”
Day 14: Scrub-a-Dub-Dub
The recommended time to wash your hands properly is 20 seconds. This may seem tedious and boring, but you can jazz up your time under the sink by adding some music! Many may know that you can sing Happy Birthday twice in this time to lengthen your hand washing, but here is a list of many more songs to sing and add to your routine to make it exciting!
- Raspberry Beret by Prince
“She wore a raspberry beret / The kind that you get at a secondhand store / Raspberry beret / And if it was warm she wouldn’t wear much more / Raspberry beret / I think I love her.”
- This Little Light of Mine
“This Little Light Of Mine / I’m gonna let it shine, / This Little Light Of Mine / I’m gonna let it shine / This Little Light Of Mine / Yes, I’m gonna let it shine / Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine”
- Oops I Did it Again… by Britney Spears
“Oops, I did it again / I played with your heart, got lost in the game / Oh baby, baby / Oops, you think I’m in love / That I’m sent from above / I’m not that innocent”
- Love on Top by Beyoncé
“Baby it’s you / You’re the one I love / You’re the one I need / You’re the only one I see / Come on baby it’s you / You’re the one that gives your all / You’re the one I can always call / When I need to make everything stop/ Finally you put my love on top”
- Jolene by Dolly Parton
“Jolene, Jolene, Jolene, Jolene / I’m begging of you please don’t take my man / Jolene, Jolene, Jolene, Jolene / Please don’t take him just because you can.”
- Shape of My Hear by the Backstreet Boys
“Looking back on the things I’ve done. I was trying to be someone. I played my part, kept you in the dark. Now let me show you the shape of my heart.”
- Toto by Africa
“It’s gonna take a lot to drag me away from you / There’s nothing that a hundred men or more could ever do / I bless the rains down in Africa / Gonna take some time to do the things we never had”
- Truth Hurts by Lizzo
“Why men great ‘til they gotta be great? / Don’t text me, tell it straight to my face / Best friend sat me down in the salon chair / Shampoo press, get you out of my hair/ Fresh photos with the bomb lighting / New man on the Minnesota Vikings / Truth hurts, needed something more exciting / Bom bom bi dom bi dum bum bay”
- Landslide by Fleetwood Mac
“Well, I’ve been afraid of changin’ / ‘Cause I’ve built my life around you / But time makes you bolder / Even children get older / And I’m gettin’ older too”
- Lose Yourself by Eminem
“You better lose yourself in the music, the moment / You own it, you better never let it go / You only get one shot, do not miss your chance to blow / This opportunity comes once in a lifetime / You better lose yourself in the music, the moment / You own it, you better never let it go / You only get one shot, do not miss your chance to blow / This opportunity comes once in a lifetime”
- Unwritten by Natasha Bedingfield
“Feel the rain on your skin / No one else can feel it for you / Only you can let it in / No one else, no one else / Can speak the words on your lips / Drench yourself in words unspoken / Live your life with arms wide open / Today is where your book begins / The rest is still unwritten”
- Heaven is a Place on Earth by Belinda Carlisle
“Ooh, baby, do you know what that’s worth? / Ooh, heaven is a place on Earth / They say in heaven love comes first / We’ll make heaven a place on Earth / Ooh, heaven is a place on Earth”
- Karma Chameleon by Culture Club
“Karma, karma, karma, karma, karma chameleon / You come and go, you come and go / Loving would be easy if your colours were like my dreams / Red, gold and green, red, gold and green”
- Boehmian Rhapsody by Queen
“I see a little silhouette of a man / Scaramouche, Scaramouche, will you do the Fandango? / Thunderbolt and lightning / Very, very frightening me / (Galileo) Galileo / (Galileo) Galileo / Galileo Figaro / Magnifico-o-o-o-o / I’m just a poor boy, nobody loves me / He’s just a poor boy from a poor family / Spare him his life from this monstrosity”
- My Shot from Hamilton the Musical
“And I am not throwing away my shot / I am not throwing away my shot / Hey yo, I’m just like my country / I’m young, scrappy and hungry / And I’m not throwing away my shot”
- Her Majesty by The Beatles
“Her Majesty’s a pretty nice girl / But she doesn’t have a lot to say / Her Majesty’s a pretty nice girl / But she changes from day to day / I want to tell her that I love her a lot / But I gotta get a bellyful of wine / Her Majesty’s a pretty nice girl / Someday I’m going to make her mine, oh yeah / Someday I’m going to make her mine”
- Brightside by The Killers
“I’m coming out of my cage / And I’ve been doing just fine / Gotta gotta be down / Because I want it all / It started out with a kiss / How did it end up like this? / It was only a kiss, it was only a kiss / Now I’m falling asleep / And she’s calling a cab / While he’s having a smoke / And she’s taking a drag / Now they’re going to bed / And my stomach is sick / And it’s all in my head / But she’s touching his chest now / He takes off her dress now / Let me go”
- Jackson by OutKast
“I’m sorry Ms. Jackson (oh), I am for real / Never meant to make your daughter cry / I apologize a trillion times / I’m sorry Ms. Jackson (oh), I am for real / Never meant to make your daughter cry / I apologize a trillion times”
- A Kiss From a Rose by Seal
“Baby, I compare you to a kiss from a rose on the grey / Ooh, the more I get of you, the stranger it feels, yeah / Now that your rose is in bloom / A light hits the gloom on the grey”
- Three Little Birds by Bob Marley and the Wailers
“Don’t worry about a thing / ‘Cause every little thing gonna be alright / Singing’ don’t worry about a thing / ‘Cause every little thing gonna be alright”
If none of these get you excited to wash your hands, use https://washyourlyrics.com and generate your own hand washing poster using the song of your choice!
Day 15: What Dawid Knew, You Can Read
Although we are on stay-at-home order, there is still one of the best ways to travel available to you: reading! A good book may be what we all need right now; to dive into another world and be transported through someone else’s story and stepping out of our own. There are a great number of books available and there is one that we would like to share with you today: What Dawid Knew: A Journey with the Kruipers.
Sešego’s passion for our shared history and education expands far beyond the traditional classroom. One of the many ways we have supported life-long learning is through the work of Patricia Glyn. Patricia Glynn is a South African writer, speaker, presenter. Her book What Dawid Knew: A Journey with the Kruipers took her on an incredible journey as she travelled and researched her subject. Dawid Kruiper’s story is one that is personal to the heart of Southern Africa and one that deserves to be told. It combines personal tales with rich history, a few of the reasons why we at Sešego felt it was important to support Glyn during her research with financial help. This book describes her two-month journey into the Kalahari desert with Dawid Kruiper and thirteen members of his family, who span three generations. During this moving odyssey, Kruiper took his family to the places where he and his forebears lived, roamed and hunted during the years prior to their eviction from their homeland under South Africa’s apartheid regime. The team visited and mapped the Kruipers’ heritage sites and recorded Dawid’s stories for posterity on film.
The heart of the book is this journey, into which Patricia weaves the history of four generations of this remarkable Bushman family and the traumatic events in southern Africa that affected their lives. Dawid’s grandfather was a legendary teacher, philosopher and hunter who lived in the late 1800s and early 1900s. His son was equally legendary, but as a water diviner and mystic. By the time Dawid was a young man, the Kruipers had been forced to wander in the diaspora, working as itinerant sheep herders and general labourers. But it was also during Dawid’s tenure as traditional leader of the Khomani that the community won a land claim which restored some of their land back. Dawid’s children and grandchildren will reap the rewards of this historic restoration, but, as the book relates, progress and justice since the land claim remain elusive for the Khomani.
Day 16: Tips and Tricks – Parenting
South Africa is a diverse melting pot of cultures and languages. With this diversity in language, however, it can be difficult to reach all audiences with proper information. South African behaviour linguistics company, BreadCrumbs, stepped up by partnering with the UN to solve this challenge. BreadCrumbs and the UN created 6 different posters featuring parenting tips, each translated into all 11 nationally recognized South African languages.
While we all may be facing difficulties adjusting to life in lockdown, some of the hardest adjustments can come with parenting. Acknowledging our own emotional ride through this time, parents must also guide their children through the emotional uncertainty of COVID-19 and the lockdown. With schools out of session and children with ample amounts of time and energy, parents may feel the need to take on the extra title of teacher and entertainer at home too. It can be hard to balance your needs with your childs, but you cannot take care of others if you do not take care of yourself too. So, parents, we recommend you take a few deep breaths, read these tips, maybe take away a few new tricks, and share these posters with your friends and family in their home language to share the help and hope. Follow the link to see all their posters in South Africa’s languages: https://bit.ly/ParentingtipsSA
Day 17: Rising in Hope
While this Easter and Passover may not be like the usual family gatherings we are used to, there are still wonderful ways to celebrate at home. It is important for us to stay safe and stay at home, but that does not mean we can’t still enjoy our family or religious services. Many churches and temples have been offering streaming services during the lockdown, so visit your place of worship’s website to see if they have a live stream you can watch! If your regular guests for these holiday meals do not stay with you, set up a video call while everyone is eating and have a virtual get together! You can top it off with a beautiful concert by Andrea Bocelli. From the inside of the Milan cathedral, Bocelli will be live streaming a concert via YouTube, in hopes to bring some love and beauty to everyone.
“On the day in which we celebrate the trust in a life that triumphs, I’m honored and happy to answer ‘Sì’ to the invitation of the City and the Duomo of Milan. I believe in the strength of praying together; I believe in the Christian Easter, a universal symbol of rebirth that everyone – whether they are believers or not – truly needs right now. Thanks to music, streamed live, bringing together millions of clasped hands everywhere in the world, we will hug this wounded Earth’s pulsing heart, this wonderful international forge that is reason for Italian pride. The generous, courageous, proactive Milan and the whole of Italy will be again, and very soon, a winning model, engine of a renaissance that we all hope for. It will be a joy to witness it, in the Duomo, during the Easter celebration which evokes the mystery of birth and rebirth” – Andrea Bocelli
You can find Andrea Bocelli’s channel here at 7 pm South African Time.
Day 18: SOHO Project
Learning is a continuous and never-ending journey, but it can also be a creative project. The SOHO Impact Project promotes creative play programmes to develop the next generation of connected problem-solvers. SOHO Impact designed an art project of building blocks to create a mural, and story. The idea was generated by the increasing dependency on technology and lack of personal connections. The Sešego Foundation is a proud partner of SOHO Impact, having brought it into schools and ECD centres in some of our local communities in South Africa.
The SOHO blocks create a well-rounded and fun activity that develops children socially, emotionally, creatively and cognitively. Using the SOHO bricks, children learn how to focus, be creative, solve problems, enlarge vocabulary, count, grasp number concepts, reason, and work in groups—while having loads of fun. In an ever technologically-connected, socially-distant world, this project is designed to foster collaboration, where children build and work together. The shapes and colours of the pieces are designed to work collectively, testing and strengthening children’s concentration, problem-solving, and flexible thinking skills.
Even those older benefit. Communication, understanding, problem-solving, and creative thinking are useful skills at any age, and can always improve. The OECD’s Programme for International Student Assessment will now recognize the importance of creativity in 2021 by assessing children on their creative thinking for the first time. Projects like the SOHO blocks foster this creative spirit. You can make a similar project at home with your family: colour and cut different straight-edged pieces out of paper to make your own murals at home on the floor or a table; continually rearrange the pieces for multiple uses and flex your creative muscles!
Day 19: Family Time and Family Health
The Sešego Foundation has always committed itself to the issue of health. Our mission is to plug the gap and help lift communities out of poverty; we know you cannot do this without emphasizing and supporting health initiatives. One of our associations is with RFHA (Rotarians for Family Health and Aids prevention) a Public/Private Partnership that drives the Rotary Family Health Days. Each component of the partnership is critically important as the entire model is based on all partners working together as a whole.
The Rotary Family Health Days programme was initially developed to address the critically important issue of HIV/AIDS, but always included other vital health care screening services. The 2011 pilot was held in Uganda and parts of Kenya. Nigeria was added in 2012, South Africa in 2013, and Ghana in 2014. The health days are conducted over a 3-day period, usually in October. Sešego is one of the many partners of RFHA to support the Health Days and assist in the interventions. Some of the regular health services provided are:
- HIV/AIDs counselling and testing
- TB screening
- Diabetes screening
- Hypertension screening
- Hepatitis B and C screening and education at some sites
- Healthy Lifestyle Education
- Information on Drugs and substance abuse
- Information for Young Girls and Women
- Voluntary male circumcision at some sites
- Measles inoculations and polio drops
In addition, there may be add-on services at some sites for everything from audiology, eye testing, MMC, youth focused information, cancer screenings and more to underserved citizens.
With the arrival of COVID-19, we face a dangerous situation where our rural and township communities could be disproportionally affected. Building up healthy immune systems, immunizations, and other preventative care through the Health Days are just a few of the many ways we can support the health of our rural communities with or without a viral pandemic. We are thankful for RFHA’s immense impactful, Rotary-led nationwide health campaign. The vision is saving and improving 5 million lives by the end of 2020.
Day 20: SPELL With Us
Educational entrepreneur and passionate social justice champion, Thero Modisagae, has invested his life into progressing the academic success of South African school children. Beginning as a teacher for nearly 5 years, he is now working as an Academic Advisor and Policy Developer in the education arena. He strongly believes in the importance of education, that it can be used to help learners thrive and participate in a globally competitive economy. Modisagae focuses on important critical thinking skills that teachers can use in the classroom and how policies in education can be shaped to meet the needs of a South African learner to become a global citizen.
Our mutual belief in the power of education to transform learners and their communities has led us to partner with Modisagae and support his entrepreneurial venture: SPELL. SPELL, an acronym for Spelling and Pronunciation in English Learning and Language, is an educational board game that primarily focuses on learning in a fun and interactive way. In 2016, Modisagae created SPELL from his passion and drive based on South Africa’s poor performance in education due to language barriers and learning difficulties in English writing, reading and spelling. This game provides an engaging learning environment where children can play in teams, using a variety of strategies to boost their literacy. The success of the board game is in its fun and educational nature that develops overall language skills in English, although it can also be translated to other languages. SPELL focuses on collaborative learning, cognitive development, critical thinking, grammar, syntax, spelling, writing, recall, and parts of speech in English. The game encourages achievement and promotes a constructive learning environment.
SPELL is a game with audacious mission which has the potential to transform the educational system across the continent with deliberate and sincere effort. We encourage you to search online to see where you can pick up a SPELL game to support and enhance your child’s educational needs, especially during this period when schools are closed.
Day 21: A Time for Change
In a world full of injustice, pain and suffering, the coronavirus can appear as just another blow in a life filled with hardship. Whether you choose to believe everything happens for a reason or not, you can always seek out a silver lining, a sliver of hope in adversity. This time spent inside, perhaps more isolated than usual, can lend itself to personal and societal reflection and introspection. Questions that may have been pushed to the side by daily routines and responsibilities – such as what do I give my attention to, what is important in my life, who and what do I and society value – can now be given the thoughtfulness and re-evaluation they deserve. As we come to the end of the original lockdown period, and prepare ourselves for an extended lockdown, take time to imagine and hope for what you want your life to look like when this is behind us.