My name is Revella M’Poko and I am the current president of IDSA, the International Diplomatic Spouses Association of South Africa. As a non-profit, non-political organization, one of our primary goals is to make a difference in the lives of those most vulnerable in society. As part of a global community, we are indeed our brother’s and our sister’s keeper. 


As we, here in South Africa, enter our sixth week in lockdown, many have developed creative ways of coping. While some have used this as a time of self-introspection and reflection, others acknowledge this as a time to count their blessings and extend a helping hand to those less fortunate who are really feeling the impact of this pandemic. Such an enormous shift in our day-to-day activities has undoubtedly prompted others to reassess their priorities and values.


Regardless of how we are occupying our time at home, I am sure there is one thing we can all agree on: the preciousness of quality time with family, relationships and good health. All of these things have value beyond measure. While this situation certainly will not last forever, we may very well be experiencing a once in a lifetime opportunity to interact with family members in a way that is not always possible. 


It is important to remember that our children may not be as capable of understanding or articulating their feelings of isolation, confusion and even fear. Our attitude will have a huge impact on their level of resilience. Please take time to check in with them on a regular basis to ensure that they are coping adequately.


Unfortunately, this is not the first pandemic that the world has experienced, nor is it likely to be the last, but how we respond can make an enormous difference for many of those around us. 

Just as we have concern for our family and friends, we must give thought to our “neighbor” as well. Please consider making a donation, through Embassy Direct, to help families in need who, through no fault of their own, are unable to feed themselves. While many of us have experienced being hungry because we had a hectic day or we are simply too tired to eat after a long day, ultimately, it was our choice. These people do not have a choice. They are simply the victims of an impossible situation.


I would like to strongly encourage each of you to help where you can, as you can, and stay safe. Thank you.