In the beginning of July we took a gap and decided to reopen business. It was far safer to remain closed but thought it best to act because we have 100 staff members that are reliant on this business for their livelihoods. Sadly, leisure travel was subsequently disallowed and so we have had to lock up once more. It’s been hard trying to remain positive but it is possibly about looking a little bit further and about getting involved.
So on Wednesday we went to Bergville to participate in a nationwide peaceful roadside human chain, voicing our concerns and what was so wonderful was the support from our team. They made the effort to leave the safe confines of home in amaZizi and joined us to make a stand. We are in this together, we are fighting for our livelihoods and our industry. Save tourism, save jobs! As we packed up and headed home we wondered if we made any impression but choosing to rather do nothing is certainly not an option.
Wednesday rolled into Thursday and it was time to visit a few small pre-schools in the amaZizi district and drop off some wonderful donations. The self-employed women who run these ECD centres rely on small fees from rural parents which makes up their income. They have no Government support, they eke out a living by working in the community. They keep hundreds of small children safe while parents are at work and they inspire us with their determination and fortitude.
Incidentally, I also had the opportunity of being interviewed by Natalia Rosa and as we ended we both remarked on how hard it is to have businesses because the responsibility of those we employ hangs heavy on our hearts in times like these. Natalia said how inspired she’d been by those she’d had the opportunity to chat to. If we stop, we see that we are surrounded by remarkable women who do just that, they inspire.
So Friday dawned and off Gogo and I drove to the far reaches of the Busingatha Valley to drop off more supplies. As we arrived at Samukelokuhle Crèche, there was Gabusile and her team, tape measure in-hand, measuring out the safe distances for the children. They marked the spots with Lego pieces and later they would be replaced with large painted river rocks to help the children socially distance while we ride this pandemic out. Her classroom was all organised, her teachers ready and she was getting the protocols safely in place so that she can safely open.
It’s inspiring that in times of great challenge there are still people who work determinedly and often, this is for very little gain, but for a much bigger concern, and that is the children. While parents are out, children need to be cared for and they certainly need stimulation to get their little brains growing and developing.
Here’s to inspiring one another. May we get through this tricky time safely.