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Neliswa, Age 13, Johannesburg, South Africa

I’m in Grade 7 and I need all the time I can to study to get into a great high school next year. We need to not be distracted by anything. Every single sentence we write in our exams and in everything, we need to be one step ahead so we can actually flourish. At the same time we need to enjoy it, not like it was pressurized on us. We are doing this for our own good; we are doing it so we can grow up and help other people.

I can’t go to church anymore (because of Covid-19) and church is my highlight of the week because I can go and serve and help people. I love seeing kids my age and I love to share the message and have fun with friends. It’s just amazing.  I was actually going to ask my mom to help at the Rivers Foundation with kids that are orphans, that don’t have homes, that live in group homes, that have to live in orphanages. I wanted to go and help donate sandwiches and build care packages for them.

I feel that everybody should be treated the same; even those people who are like monsters, they are human and they should be given a second chance or they should be shown what to do and what not to do so they can move on with life because we are all in this together and we need to protect each other. Who else is going to protect us?

When I hear those words, “We need to have courage”, I think we need to help other people be courageous, because we can’t say that “You have to have courage” and then be judgmental to people because they also have feelings. We all have feelings, and we can’t hurt other people because if you hurt them, then they are going to hurt someone else. Instead of hurting people we should make them feel good about themselves.

It’s very hard, so we need to continue being courageous and make each other feel like we can do anything. We can’t take that power for granted. We should be helping each other but I feel there will be like the majority of our world that will just continue doing like they did before this Covid.

We don’t understand that these things can kill us, “Poof!” out of this world, we are gone. We need to work on it. We need to LEARN that we aren’t cats. We don’t have nine lives, we just have one. I really pray with all of my might that there will be people like the World Health Organization that can do something more, like telling these people that IF you don’t follow the regulations you will die.

It’s not just going to pick up and leave! NO. We need to do something about it.  We need to stop not caring, stop saying “No, I am just fine”  or  “I am lucky” or “The ancestors will look after me”.  You can’t be depending on that only. You need to take care of yourself. You need to eat healthy, have your Vitamin C, stop spreading these things, keep yourself safe, wear your mask, keep social distancing.

They really need to get it through their heads that this thing is deadly.

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