Here in South Africa we are now on level 2 of our nationwide lockdown. It has been a long and challenging five months since we first entered lockdown in March due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Now, as we move into September, spring is in the air and we carry with us a new resilience, ready to adapt to our ‘new normal’. With Covid-19 present, and still very much on the rise, here it has become part of our everyday. Although we are still being extremely cautious and careful, after many weeks of discussions back and forth between our team, we feel more than equipped under governmental regulations to resume physical programming starting from the 7th of September.
Over the past week, our team spent time together at the Art Centre in Rammulotsi going through our processes and procedures in rehearsing and readying ourselves for our students’ arrival. Our centre is now equipped with the following:
Handless sanitizer stands
An infrared thermometer device to check students’ temperatures on arrival
Clearly demarcated two-metre social distance workspaces
Beautiful Dramatic Need customised, washable masks hand-made by MaRooskrantz for each student to keep.
Individually allocated arts materials, which will be sanitized after each session together with a deep clean of the centre at the end of each day.
We have also put together an exciting new programme which we have been developing and refining whilst on lockdown alongside our online programming. Our new programme hopes to meet the needs of our young people and the new set of challenges that they will be facing in the wake of this pandemic. Our current programming themes are focused around: Emotional and Mental Health (addressing Anger, fear, grief, platforms to help, Covid-19 hygiene practices and self-care) Conflict Resolution, Problem Solving, Active Citizenship and The Future. We are very excited to meet our students with this new programme and share with you all the outcomes. Although we have not had in-person teaching for over five months, we are confident that we have maintained student engagement and participation through our online workshops and social media presence and feedback from students has been consistently encouraging. However, nothing beats being in the room and we are so looking forward to opening the art centre again and greeting the familiar faces of our students next week!