Effects of COVID-19 on learning at Mrembo

By Tracy Marosi

COVID-19 is a pandemic that is affecting many businesses, people and their daily living. Mrembo Community Center is also affected.

Mrembo Community Center founded in the year 2017 in Soweto, Kayole and is an organization helping young women and girls in the slums to transform their lives.

We offer different courses that have been established to help these girls.

Hair dressing is the main course offered at Mrembo. We also offer life-skills training. Students at Mrembo visit children’s homes, take part in team building and many other activities in order to help them grow not only mentally but also physically and emotionally. Religion is also important because Mrembo is a Christian Community Center. There are prayers; and a praise and worship session every morning at Mrembo.

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Mrembo Empowerment Center also enables students to socialize with the community. For example, part of the hairdressing practical activities require the girls to look for clients to style and plait around the community in order to perfect their hairdressing skills. This enables them to work well with their clients.

COVID-19 has had many effects on the girls.

1) School Closure

Education has affected many girls due to government closure directives. Many girls are not studying or revising at home thus relegating their education to the back of their minds.

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2) Pregnancy

Because the girls are not in school, they have a lot of free time. They are tempted to engage in many irresponsible activities. Many of them have ended up pregnant. Most of them are not financially stable and are not able to support their children. Many girls have started looking for menial jobs to make end meet.

3) Sexual Exploitation

Many girls have been tricked into sexual activity due to the idleness. Those who have engaged in these activities have been exposed to sexually transmitted diseases like HIV/AIDS, gonorrhea, syphilis and many more.

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This has not only affected the Mrembo facility, but also the nation at large. As we look forward to the reopening of learning institutions, we welcome you all back to Mrembo Empowerment Community.