South Africa is on level 1 of lockdown now and most of the economy has opened up and people have returned to a more "normal" way of life. However, we are facing the very real possibility of a "second wave" of infections now so still have to wear our masks, sanitise and practise social distancing.
In these strange times, our self help groups have been carrying on as best they can. Most have started meeting again while adhering to the Covid-19 protocols. In the meantime, groups and individuals have also carried on with their income-generating projects as well as they can. Some of the members of Diatla dia hlatswana had starting learning to do patchwork last year. One lady really enjoyed this and made and sold some handbags towards the end of last year. During lockdown, she kept herself busy making cushions and she is hoping to do more and to be able to sell them. Usually Haenertsburg has a Spring Fair in September to show off the wonderful gardens here, and there is a market for about 10 days. Unfortunately this did not happen this year, so we will have to explore other ways of selling.
The group, Itshomeleng SHG, in the Dikgale area, after a long break of winter and lockdown, have started planting a vegetable garden. The Department of Agriculture has helped them by donating seedlings. They have an agreement with a local school, whereby they use a piece of their grounds for the garden, in exchange for cleaning the classrooms and yard of the school.
This year we have not been able to have any exchange visits nor will we be able to have our annual Learning and Sharing Day in December. However on the upside, none of our members have contracted Covid-19 and they are all adapting to the changes and challenges of 2020.