When South Africa further loosened its COVID-19 restrictions on the economy, president Cyril Ramaphosa announced that November 25 - 29, 2020 would be set aside for mourning and that on these days, the country's flag will be flown half-mast from 6am -6pm.
Our country has seen to date (end of Nocember 2020) +21 000 lives lost to the COVID-19 pandemic. And as all South Africans, we will stand united in remembrance of those who have lost lives and loved ones to the virus.
However we also cannot forget another scourge that runs rampant in South Africa, and that is Gender Based Violence (GBV). GBV is a profound and widespread problem in our country, impacting on almost every aspect of life. GBV (which disproportionately affects women and girls) is systemic, and deeply entrenched in institutions, cultures and traditions in South Africa. You can read up on more information on these troubling statistics here.
All South Africans, our government, health professionals and essential workers, continue to fight the good fight against COVID-19, and will not let our guard down when it comes to preventing this virus from spreading across our nation.
Ramaphosa addressed the nation at the beginning of November, saying: "It will be appropriate during the 16 days of activism for no violence against women and children. We should demonstrate our remembrance to all those who departed due to COVID and gender-based violence.”
"Cabinet has decided that from November 25 to November 29 the nation should embark on a five day morning of victims of Covid-19 as well as victims of GBV and femicide."
He called on all to wear black armbands or other signs of mourning to signify and respect those who departed.
South Africans have always been a nation of unity, striving and working towards a better future for all of our people. But this cannot be done without remembering those who we have lost in the struggle to this ideal.
We call on all friends of South Africa to do the same, and to pay respect to the men women and children who have died due to the COVID 19 pandemic, Gender based Violence around the world, and Femicide.
May the winds of eternity softly carry you to your resting place
Vanessa Randon (Programme Manager)
The Good Hope Volunteer Team
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