Learnings from Covid-19, part 2
In the last issue of our Newsletter we asked our core Associates what was, according to them, the most important learning for our organizations from the situation generated by Covid-19. Here we ask the same question to our Associate Staff working in Africa. This is what they say:
Although Covid–19 is a global challenge, each individual and institution has been affected differently. Like many others, this is my first time I am experiencing this kind of situation where almost everybody is affected. This situation has found us off guard. We have been hit hard. Nobody expected it! If we had known, we would have put a number of things in place.
This situation has called for great flexibility and adaptability. My learning is about the need and importance of being flexible and being able to adapt. Organisations like ours have annual plans and programs. A number of things have had to change. We have had to think about plan B, but even then, we were not sure!
Who knows how long this situation will last? Every country, every government has handed the situation differently. Given the fact that staff and participants are of different nationalities and residents of different countries worldwide, the invitation is to remain open and flexible. We don’t know what to anticipate! Some boarders will open while others will remain closed.
The invitation is to facilitate communication and to continue to be open to what is at stake in the different contexts where we find ourselves. Collaboration, networking with others is also crucial.
Maintaining flexibility and adaptability during this crisis is a healthy response to the challenge Covid-19 has caused.
Immaculate Nakato SMR, leader of our programs in Kenya and Tanzania
I think what happened in March 2020 during our latest session of the Leadership Program in Benin was by itself a very good learning process with regards to Covid-19 and any unforeseen circumstances. It really confirmed what we say about organizations as “Living Systems” taking into consideration the Context. I think this is very important for leadership. We started the training with a full program, but as the information reaching us from the international context continued sending negative signals, it was decided I should go before it was too late to leave the country. A day later, it was the whole system that decided that the situation was not appropriate for any meaningful training. We always need to be able to discern, reading the signs of time, to see what God is telling us.
Another point would be how to make the best out of the worst situation. Covid-19 is not anything one would wish to have around. Nevertheless, it has brought in some changes in the lifestyle of our organizations. What positive heritage would Covid19 leave with us?
Dominic APEE, M. Afr., leader of our programs in Ghana and Benin
Covid-19 brought a humbling experience. With all the sophistication we have in the world, humanity was brought almost to a standstill by a tiny virus invisible to the eye. The panic and confusion brought by the virus showed that though human beings want to claim to have conquered and mastered creation, we are still very much vulnerable. All planned activities had to be cancelled or suspended. We should not buy into the illusion that we are in charge of the world. Human beings are only part of creation, a part that is vulnerable. Therefore, instead of taking life for granted, we need to appreciate and cherish each day as a gift. We also need to value our relationships with others and treasure the entire creation and more and more learn to live and act in a responsible manner.
Wenceslaus Kwindingwi CMM, leader of our programs in Tanzania and Zimbabwe