CK Newsletter May 2022

Molo, good day and goeiedag,

After a tornado or tsunami has passed through an area, TV news channels are filled with live feeds where the reporter is standing in the middle of the devastation while relief workers are sifting through the rubble.  That is exactly how we are feeling.  The earth has been shaken, debris has been scattered and we, the relief workers, are making our way through the line of victims.  Someone recently asked me what keeps me awake at night, and my answer was “the children we’ve not yet seen”.

This year, schools have returned to their full timetable – which is glibly referred to as “back to normal” but there is nothing normal about it.  To imagine that young minds can now simply knuckle down and concentrate is naïve.  

Learners have lost their footing and we are experiencing a season of profound loss, on a scale we have never seen before.  Grief and loss.  Loss of relationships, loss of income, loss of opportunity and loss of joy.  Loved ones lost to Covid and lost to suicide.

A generation is grieving.

The work that we do is not magical; we can’t stop the trauma but we can offer respite and reassurance.  Right now, we desperately need more hands.  There are not enough qualified, professional social workers, registered counsellors and psychologists to meet this current need.  Thanks to your support, we have taken the bold move to grow our team by welcoming young people, from the communities we work in, to join us and be trained up as mental health first aiders offering frontline support.  Our Educational Psychologist, Amanda van der Vyver, has been driving this innovation and completed the pilot phase last year.  This year, we have gone live and welcome you to come on a site visit to meet our newly trained Care Facilitators: Fatima, Funeke, Jamie-Lee, Naeelah, Nokuzola, Tatum and Valentia.

Caring means a feeling of being concerned for someone and having an urge to show kindness to them.

With growth comes the need to expand our head office support team and this term we welcome Jacquelene Yikwani-Jayiya as our Deputy Operations Manager, a new post. Jacqui holds a BCom degree and a Diploma in Project Management.

We invite you to follow the link to our 2021 Annual Report.  It begins with a brief overview for readers who enjoy highlights, followed by a more in-depth report for readers who prefer more detail; between the two sections is a gallery of our 2021 team, kindly donated by illustrator Emma-Kate Acton Design.  Please share your thoughts on the report, it’s always helpful to receive input on ways we can improve.


Gerrit and the Community Keepers team