When you hear the song "Jerusalem" for the first time, you immediately want to play along. The infectious rhythm of the South African gospel beat has become the unmistakable soundtrack of the COVID pandemic on social media. The dance that goes with it can be seen everywhere: We stand together, even in difficult times! It is a song of hope for many people all over the world who have Covid-19 or are suffering the consequences of the pandemic. This song also touches Sibusiso.
One of the most important things these days is that despite the great distance, uncertainty and misunderstandings, we remain a community. The people of Sibusiso are more united by this gospel beat. It gives them hope for better times. This is especially motivating in the daily work with disabled people.
2020 was a year of challenges, also for Sibusiso.
As a result of the Corona crisis, the Sibusiso centre also had to close from March to June. Despite the closure, the activities for parents and children could continue in an amended form. Through social media, among other means, the team reached children and parents who were in urgent need of help. For example, a Facebook page was immediately set up in Swahili and WhatsApp groups for parents were created. More than 200 parents were reached via these platforms.
Therapists, teachers and social workers made videos on different topics, so parents had a reference to look back on when they had questions on particular topics. For families without WhatsApp access, a schedule was created for regular telephone contact. The effort to reach the Sibusiso children and their parents was well received by the parents: "Many, many thanks to Sibusiso for not letting us down," said Benjamin Abraham Urio, one of the fathers.
Sibusiso finally reopened on 15 June. We did our very best to ensure that children, parents and staff could work as safe as possible. The motto is: prevention is better than cure! Corona not only presented Sibusiso with great challenges, but everyone was affected - to a greater or lesser extent - by the consequences. Unfortunately, this is also reflected in the donations for Sibusiso.
It is certainly very difficult to organise activities at this time. The same goes for sponsorship events. Fortunately, there are online opportunities for this as well. Especially in this day and age it is important to show the more vulnerable in society that they are supported.
An example of an online campaign is that Anton van Doornmalen (one of our board members) recorded his concert in a studio. From 12 December 2020 he will take us on a musical journey in his second digital concert. "Journey Part II". All concert donations will go to our planned new project - Building a knowledge centre!
Because of Sibusiso's good work over the past years, there is a growing interest from other organisations that want to learn more from Sibusiso. The plan is to share experiences in the knowledge centre with organisations that works for the same target group as Sibusiso. In this way, children outside the physical reach of the Foundation can also be reached.
We wish you and your family a merry Christmas and a healthy and happy New Year 2021! In the coming year we will do everything we can to ensure that Sibusiso remains a place of peace and hope.