If you require any further information on COVID-19, visit sacoronavirus.co.za

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Our COVID-19 Response

The COVID-19 Pandemic is a crisis that has called on all across the world to adapt and innovate. Here, we summarise how we are navigating this unprecedented global health, economic and social crisis.​

Our Response

Every aspect of our lives has been disrupted by the COVID-19 Pandemic and resulting necessary national action to contain the spread and ensure the health and safety of us all.  We are acutely aware of the disproportionate social and economic impact that COVID-19 has on African youth. Between school closures, shrinking of the economy and opportunities, and increased unemployment - the social, economic and psycho-social burden on youth is immense.

At enke, we are determined to do what we can to equip and support young people's ability to be resilient through the disruption. Though our programs and operations must adapt, our vision and goals stay the same. We remain committed to continue with our work to equip youth to thrive; to give them the platform and tools to confront and overcome this and future crises. This page is periodically updated with information and developments related to our COVID-19 response.

Adapting & Innovating Our Operations & Programs​

Adjusting Our Operations​

In response to the National Disaster, enforcement of a nation-wide lockdown due to COVID-19, we officially closed our
physical offices  and work sites as of 5pm on 20th March. Since this date, all enke staff have been required to work from home and equipped to engage with work remotely.

Our response to this unprecedented global challenge is grounded in four core principles:

  • Be Safe: Protect our participants, people and partners by adhering to national and global guidelines on Physical Distancing and Good Hygiene, and other safety protocols
  • Be Smart: Finding creative and innovative ways to continue our work and impact, and provide support to our participants and alumni
  • Be Kind: Live our values and remember that we all have a responsibility to do our part, to step up and lead and support others in our communities, teams and country.
  • Be Focused: We will be focused on the bigger picture and our purpose of equipping young people with the tools to thrive. We will do our best to continue our programs and social impact work in these unprecedented times.

We have developed a comprehensive organisational COVID-19 Policy that outlines office safety protocols and health etiquette. We have also created training delivery protocols.

How to get in touch with enke during COVID-19 Virtual Measures: 

  • Mobile / Whatsapp Number: +27(0)68-210-7426
  • Email for all organisation and program queries: more@enke.co.za
  • Social Media – Regular updates are made on our social media sites. Like and Follow to stay updated:
  • For updated information from the South African Government:
    • Regular updates – https://sacoronavirus.co.za
    • Department of Health Emergency Hotline: 0800 029 999
    • Department of Health WhatsApp Support Line: 0600-123456


Adapting & Innovating Our Youth Programs​

Amid the uncertainty, we believe community is our greatest strength and we can work together to support each other during the challenging times of this pandemic. With optimism, we also realise that times of hardship often also generate creativity and innovation. We are committed to continue doing our best to see what opportunities may emerge to prepare even more youth with the skills and tools to achieve their full potential and thrive.

On 15 March 2020, the President of South Africa declared COVID-19 a National Disaster and a nationwide lockdown was put in place from 27 March 2020.  The government  published strict guidelines on social distancing, travel restrictions and other measures to aid in flattening the curve and prepare the public health system. On 25 April, a risk-adjusted strategy was put in place, with various alert levels for the lockdown to enable a gradual reopening of the economy and the state of national disaster has been extended twice since then.

We are reviewing and adapting our programs and developing different and new ways of delivering our programs to continue to have impact despite the disruption. In April, we engaged in comprehensive scenario planning to inform program changes and make sure that our work follows global and national health and safety guidelines. From our scenario planning, we designed and are implementing different strategies and solutions for program delivery, making sure that they are adaptive and responsive to the constantly evolving situation and challenges.

Get Involved

Providing Health Information & Support​

Our first priority was to ensure the safety of the youth in our programs, our staff, partners, and the communities we serve. To do this effectively we needed to share information and raise awareness about COVID-19.

  • COVID-19 WhatsApp Live Chats: We immediately initiated weekly group live chats via WhatsApp as a support for people in our community and wider enke network. The WhatsApp live chats were opportunities to connect, ask questions, and support each other to help reduce the psycho-social burden of the pandemic and lockdown. In April and May these were held on a weekly basis, and, by request of community members, are now monthly sessions. More information about the WhatsApp Live Chats can be found on our Facebook Page.
  • 3 Million in 3 Weeks Campaign: We joined Harambee and other youth development organisations in the 3 Million 3 Weeks Campaign to ensure that youth have access to credible information about the pandemic, as well as resources to support their mental and physical health. As of July 2020, over 8 million youth have been reached with this essential, fact-based information.

Adapting Our Core & Special Programs​

Our face-to-face training and in-person events were suspended from 19 March 2020 (read our March stakeholder letter outlining our response to the national lockdown). Since then, we have been working to redesign each of our programs for operations in a COVID-19 world.

  • Trailblazer Program: Unfortunately we will not be able to run enke: Forums due to ongoing inter-provincial travel and gathering restrictions. We have adjusted our Trailblazer Program delivery to a community-based model that will run from September 2020 – March 2021 in targeted communities in Limpopo, Free State, Northern Cape and Gauteng.
  • Catalyst Program: The main impact of the pandemic was to delay the launch of the 2020 Catalyst Program Cohort 7 intake in Gauteng. We will be launching the Catalyst Program Gauteng from 4th August 2020 in Kagiso, Johannesburg and Thembisa. We will be working under strict COVID-19 protocols to ensure the health and safety of program participants, facilitators and staff. We will also be implementing a blended learning model in the Catalyst Program.
  • Ignition Program: With the suspension of enke: Forums, it was necessary to make substantive changes to the enke: Ignition Program. The Ignition Program has evolved into a facilitation and volunteer training program only. We have created a new role: The Trailblazer Champion, which merges the role of facilitator and mentor at Forum (previously known as Igniter), and post-Forum support, (previously  Trailblazer Support Team).