Adapting and Serving in the time of COVID
Posted / 13 December 2020
Unable to implement the usual academy based leadership programme, but seeing the negative impact of the COVID-19 restrictions on young people, Columba saw the importance of supporting learners through Life Orientation (L.O) sessions when learners returned to school. This was to help learners to, amongst other things, maintain and achieve personal well-being, use their talents and skills to their full potential and teach them the importance of self-discipline. In partnership with all Columba schools across all provinces, three 40 minutes sessions with Grade 10s and 11s, reaching 1 589 learners in 16 schools, were facilitated in October. Themba Nkutha, Academy Manager, says, “This was part of inspiring young people to never give up and for them to continue being positive and being intentional in improving themselves and those around them.” The sessions were appreciated by both learners and educators who had been longing for human interaction and encouragement stripped away by the pandemic restrictions and regulations. Asanda Maphumulo a Grade 11 learner from Vukuzakhe High School in Umlazi, Kwa Zulu Natal, says “Being with Columba has made me value myself a bit more. I figured it was okay to stand out, it was okay to be weird, it was okay to be myself. It helped me with just dealing with myself emotionally and spiritually.” Another learner, Lindelwa Mkhize, also in Grade 11 says she has learnt to come out of her comfort zone and to set boundaries for herself so she can reach her goals, that it “has been a good experience.” The L.O sessions are likely to continue next year as part of Columba’s goal to elicit the greatness in young people and help them chart a successful course for themselves through school and beyond.