21 Acts of Goodness gives support to over 260 Matric learners in Mpumalanga
The majority of young people in South Africa face a mountain of challenges: from under-resourced schools to crime-ridden suburbs and socio-economically challenged communities.
To help address some of these challenges, the 21 Acts of Goodness to Enable the Matric Class initiative reached out to more than 260 Matric learners in Mpumalanga recently. The Old Mutual Foundation and its partners visited the Phambili and Seabe Secondary Schools to be part of the “last mile/push” to the final exams that begin on 27 October. The programme donated dignity packs and provided psychosocial and motivational support to the Matric learners. The enablers of the programme Mpumi Mbethe, Clement Maosa and Sibusiso Vilane gave moving and motivational support of their own personal stories and their trials and tribulations. You can do this was the rallying call!
Empowering South Africa’s most vulnerable communities, especially its youth, is a key purpose of the Old Mutual Foundation. “We are focusing our efforts and resources on achieving inclusive prosperity through basic education and post-school education and training,” explains Fikile Kuhlase. Head of the Old Mutual Foundation
Joining the OM Foundation and its partners at both schools over two days, was the Mpumalanga MEC for Education, Bonakele Majuba who praised the programme for being impactful. “We urge our learners to take advantage of the support provided,” he said. “Especially following the disruptions caused by Covid-19, we must all strive to help close the knowledge gap and prepare learners for the final examinations. I request all parents and members of the community in general to encourage these learners and to create a favourable environment for study to help ensure their success.”
With their final school exams around the corner, many learners are struggling to cope with their feelings of stress and anxiety. Nomfundo Mogapi, CEO of the Centre for Mental Wellness and Leadership, shared information developed in partnership with CSVR and loveLife to help young people get through stressful and difficult times.
What to do when you are filled with despair and thoughts of suicide:
- Take yourself SERIOUSLY when you have suicidal thoughts, or when you feel that taking your own life is the only way to escape your emotional pain
· Reach out to a friend or trusted adult and talk about how you are feeling
- Identify your emotional triggers. Try to figure out why you are feeling so low. The reasons may include conflict in the home or other difficult relationships, grief, past trauma or overwhelming anxiety about your exams or future prospects
- Challenge your thoughts. Practise positive self-talk and challenge self-defeating thoughts. Focus on managing the emotions you are currently feeling and avoid thinking too much about either the past or the future
- Avoid isolating yourself from others. Try to connect with friends and loved ones, and if you can’t, reach out to a professional. There are organisations that have crisis lines where someone will be ready to talk to you about how you are feeling
- Build a healthy routine. Think about your routine and check whether changes need to be made. These could include getting enough sleep at night and trying to keep active during the day. Incorporate healthy eating and exercise into your routine wherever possible. Think about joining a local youth club or taking up a hobby
- Avoid unhealthy coping mechanisms. These include abusing alcohol and other substances such as marijuana/weed/dagga and illegal drugs, comfort eating, and engaging in risky behaviour
- Practise mindfulness. Set time aside each day to practise stress relief and relaxation and grounding techniques such as slow breathing, meditation, yoga etc.
- Remember that feelings come and go and you can get support to learn to cope with life stresses. Reaching out to others may help you get a different perspective on things
Launched by the Old Mutual Foundation in 2020, 21 Acts of Goodness seeks to support learners during their final year of school. This year, 21 Acts of Goodness has also partnered with Woza Matrics, a multi-platform programme that provides curriculum support to matric learners, and the SA Department of Basic Education’s Second Chance Matric Programme to help the Matric Class of 2021 meet their study needs to complete their schooling even at times of loss in learning and teaching time, the pandemic and recent social unrest.
· CSVR telephone line: 071 241 1831
· People are Dr Reddy’s Help Line: 0800 21 22 23
· loveLife Contact Centre: Send a PLZ Call to 083 323 1023
· Cipla 24hr Mental Health Helpline: 0800 456 789
· Pharmadynamics Police &Trauma Line: 0800 20 50 26
· Adcock Ingram Depression and Anxiety Helpline: 0800 70 80 90
· ADHD Helpline: 0800 55 44 33
· Department of Social Development Substance Abuse Line 24hr helpline: +0800 12 13 14 or SMS 32312
· Suicide Crisis Line: 0800 567 567
· SADAG Mental Health Line: 011 234 4837
· Akeso Psychiatric Response Unit 24 Hour: 0861 435 787
· Cipla Whatsapp Chat Line: 076 882 2775 (9am-4pm, 7 days a week)
· 24hour Healthcare Workers Care Network Helpline: 0800 21 21 21 or SMS 43001
· NPOWERSA Helpline: 0800 515 515 or SMS 43010