The new regulations requiring all citizens to stay in-doors in an effort to drastically limit the spread of Corona Virus has given South Africans an opportunity to reflect on how they go about their professional and family lives.

Apart from some frivolous and sometimes down right inappropriate content that people are creating and sharing daily on social media to keep their minds occupied, Carole Podetti-Ngono, founder and managing director of Valued Citizens Initiative, is encouraging South Africans to use this time at home to reflect on how they can be the ones adding value by caring enough for their children and children from our communities as they are the ones paying the high price.

She says we should use this opportunity to create a consciousness about our role as citizens on how we can become more productive members of society and by implication-valued citizens.

Podetti-Ngono says “Covid-19 has forced us into a situation where we have to work together as a nation in order to limit the potential devastating impact of this pandemic at a time of downgrades of our country into “junk status”. If we make mindful choices, we may even come out of it, a better people,” adds Podetti-Ngono.

“At Valued Citizens Initiative we would like to encourage South Africans to ask themselves the question: What is Covid-19 teaching me as a lesson? The lesson may be to appreciate teachers inspiring your child. The lesson may be to ensure that every time I purchase a book for my child, I can purchase a book for a child from a school in Diepsloot. It may be to buy fruits and vegetables in the communities I visit to ensure that it may assist a family to feed its children. I believe every one of us can commit to a life driven by awareness of our social responsibility and caring for one another to build a better society”.

“We would like to appeal to every South African to re-evaluate what really matters to them,” says Podetti-Ngono.

“Is it family over work, family over self or can we set a healthy balance between both as we know that families are at the centre of the development of well-rounded and healthy children emotionally and physically,” asks Podetti-Ngono.

“Since 2001 our children in public primary and high schools continue to relate to family as a place where they feel unsafe, where they are victims or witness of domestic violence, we can change this as parents, care-givers, family members to empower individuals not to perceive themselves as providers and playing power relations but looking at self as beings with a heart to love as it is all about caring,” says Podetti-Ngono.

She says the social compact between government and its people is not enough. “It is time we embrace a shared set of values as South Africans and ensure that everyone matters.” concludes Podetti-Ngono.