An important message to all clients and stakeholders in astonishing timesGus Doyle
Umsizi voices our solidarity and unity with all people in South Africa in this time of the nationwide lockdown to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and its terrible effects on our nation. We earnestly pray to God for His swift intervention, protection and recovery in all spheres of health, society and economy, and especially for those people who are vulnerable. Umsizi is overwhelmingly thankful to our President and government for their decisive leadership and to all essential services workers who are in the front lines of fighting the battle against Covid-19 and serving our nation, not looking to their own interests, but to serving the interests of others. We join with all of our clients, stakeholders, communities, partner networks and friends, in remaining hopeful and confident that we are stronger together, and that this too will pass. However, we acknowledge with wisdom that each of us must honour our responsibility to maintain social distancing, good hygiene and observation of the lockdown.
Umsizi remains fully active in providing consulting and development implementation services to our partners and communities, via remote means from our homes. Although we have been forced to suspend fieldwork and physical contact on the ground, we are continuing to encourage our stakeholders and vulnerable communities throughout this time via all available channels. In these last two weeks we have been able to reach many who participate in our client projects and development programmes. The current unprecedented circumstances do not hamper our ability to continue our commitments towards our partners or compromise our work with beneficiaries and partners. Our Broad-Based Livelihood Development Programmes (BBLs) can continue unabated in this time.
The core strategy of our BBLs, and all skills and knowledge which have been transferred to target communities through these, are especially relevant now: Households have been empowered and are able to sustain themselves and others through this difficult time, through the production of healthy food, boosting their immune systems and promoting the overall health of families. Through our on-going remote support, beneficiaries are using this time in the lockdown as an opportunity to expand their productive efforts from the home. Through their own food production, they are able to avoid congested supermarkets and public transport, thereby preventing the spread of the virus, and save money. Many are giving freely and selling to their neighbours who are struggling or who need good vegetables and fruit. Monitoring, feedback and support between our teams, clients, stakeholders and the beneficiaries will continue throughout the lockdown.
Umsizi is also giving urgent attention to the coordination of a widespread relief and humanitarian effort for the weeks to come, through our very own Non-Profit Organisation “Impophomo Rushing Waters” (www.impophomo.org.za). During the lockdown and in the weeks to follow, the socio-economic needs of households and communities will significantly increase. Thousands stand to lose their livelihoods and will be desperate for help and welfare, as the adverse impacts of Covid-19 take grip. Updates on our relief programme will be available on the website of Impophomo.
We continue to pray for good health and the physical and spiritual well-being of ourselves and all our partners. Thank you for continuing to stand with us, both in responsibly fighting the spread of the Coronavirus, and in promoting the socio-economic development partnerships which are so essential – and all the more so in this time.
God bless you
CEO of Umsizi Sustainable Social Solutions