Covid-19 Response

Since the March 2020 lockdown, it’s been business un-usual for Common Good.

While our vision and mission has not changed, the pandemic necessitated that we find new ways to meet the immediate needs of our beneficiaries and adapt our programmes for sustained impact into the future.

Common Good’s Early Life, Education and Employment initiatives have adjusted rapidly to serve the marginalised during this season. This included the delivery of data-free online learning opportunities in our no-fee schools; webinars to equip church communities to support vulnerable and isolated young families during lockdown; and the revamp of our Work Readiness curriculum so that it can be used to equip the unemployed through training partners across the country. Please read on below to learn how your support is enabling these efforts.

Thank you to all those who have donated towards food relief, sewn masks, and to those who continue to give faithfully towards Common Good’s programmes. We are humbled by our donor community’s generosity and so grateful for your ongoing partnership.

Nkulu Madonko,
CEO, on behalf of the Common Good Team

Food Relief

Raised for food vouchers

Many of Common Good’s beneficiaries have been severely impacted by the Coronavirus pandemic and are struggling to put food on the table. While we are not a relief agency, we realised early into lockdown that assisting with food security would be one of the most meaningful ways that we could serve our beneficiaries in this season. We put out a call for donations and were overjoyed by the swift and generous response.

To date over R441,500 was raised. This was used to support, among others, 136 Work Readiness graduates, 48 moms who have been through antenatal and postnatal groups; and 47 food-insecure families identified by our partner schools, and 38 food-insecure families identified by our staff. We also allocated funds to top up school feeding schemes so that 200 families received meals five days a week for a period.

Mask Making

Fabric masks sewn and distributed

Thanks to an incredible team of volunteer mask makers, we were able to deliver more than 6200 fabric masks in 2020 to individuals and communities across Cape Town.

We partnered with churches, NGOs, schools and Community Action Networks to ensure that they were put in the hands of those who needed them most, including those facing homelessness, mothers delivering babies during lockdowns, teachers, and organisations involved in contact tracing.



We recognise that for many families with infants, lockdown has amplified common feelings of isolation and anxiety. Sikunye has trained, empowered and supported 76 members of 51 churches to connect with and care for families over this time. They published a comprehensive toolkit of resources and are hosting weekly webinars to stir, encourage and strengthen these ‘Loving Connectors’ to support their communities.

For the remainder of the year, Sikunye will continue these efforts, while also looking to refine their model, increase accessibility, grow partnerships, and make recommendations for taking the initiative to scale. When restrictions lift further, we also look forward to resuming our antenatal and postnatal classes. For now, we remain connected with past attendees and provide support via active WhatsApp groups.


Collaboration Schools

Despite the relaxation of lockdown restrictions and the gradual reopening of schools, we are seeing that school-based learning will be disrupted for some time to come. Our Education team has been working tirelessly with leaders and teachers in our partner schools to ensure that every learner has access to continuous teaching and learning opportunities in this ever-shifting educational landscape.

Data-free Remote School
In 2020 we launched Remote School via class WhatsApp groups initially, and then a fully-fledged online Learning Management System (LMS) that addressed two of the most significant challenges to online learning in our South African context: devices and data. We are grateful to our funding partners who helped us overcome these challenges, to implement a mobile-friendly, data-free solution for our learners.

Matric Guardian Programme
At Silikamva High, the Matrics of 2020 were divided into small groups and assigned a mentor teacher, who was responsible for connecting with learners a few times a week and, if necessary, daily to find out how they were doing and to identify obstacles to returning to school. As a result of this ‘circle of support’, we could account for 99% of our Matrics and were thrilled at the daily attendance rates at school. This intervention demonstrates the power of caring teachers to lead young people through a disorienting and often frightening time, and to convey this simple message: You matter and your future matters! This programme was so successful that it has continued into 2021.

While learning in 2021 has for the most part been in class, most of our schools have needed to alternate learning days and holidays have been extended. We applaud our Collaboration Schools staff at Silikamva High, and at Disa Primary and Boundary Primary in Bonteheuwel, for adapting in these difficult conditions and continuing to prioritise their learners’ education against all odds.


The Zanokhanyo Network

Preparing for greater reach
While Work Readiness classes were suspended for much of 2020, The Zanokhanyo Network was focused on intense innovation. The team updated and reworked their Work Readiness curriculum so that it supports both face-to-face and remote delivery. This is an important piece of a larger project, which will enable replication partners to offer our holistic and transformative course across South Africa. As unemployment figures rise in the wake of the pandemic, we realise how vital and timely this work is.

Digital-First Solutions
The TZN Team has developed a WhatsApp bot that, alongside disseminating course content for days 9-16 in the Work Readiness course, allows users to create and update their CVs – all from their phones. All that is required is that the user reply to the text prompts, and a professionally designed CV is sent to their inboxes. This feature is available to all TZN Work Readiness graduates alongside support from the TZN team, and has been central to the TZN COVID-19 response.

Graduate Support
Many of our Work Readiness graduates lost their jobs during the pandemic and face an uncertain future of diminished opportunities. Our team has made every effort to maintain contact and offer daily support via our Facebook Community and Graduate WhatsApp groups. Trainers are posting videos to remind graduates of the principles learned during their course, and to encourage them to continue their journey of self-development during lockdown. We also continue to assist in practical ways through our food relief fund.

Calling believers to a lifestyle of justice

Common Good’s congregational support team spear-headed the mask-making project in 2020, and our food relief drive over 2020 and 2021.

Compassion and Justice during Coronavirus.
During the 2020 lockdowns, the team also produced many insightful and practical resources on how we can respond to the pandemic, especially as we look to support the most marginalised at this time. These are published on the Covid-19 resource page on our website. You will also find fresh resources on some of the existing topic pages, exploring how the pandemic has revealed more insights into issues like homelessness and a living wage.

Justice Journey moves online
In September 2020, Justice Journey was hosted online for the very first time. This 5-week course is designed to equip, inspire and challenge Christ-followers to better engage with social justice issues that surround us. For further information and to sign up, visit the Justice Journey page.

Thank you to our funding partners and individual donors

We are so grateful for sustained support in a season when giving, for many, has been tough and sacrificial.

If you would like to further support our work, you can list Common Good as a beneficiary on your Woolworth’s MySchool card, invite a friend to join one of our monthly campaigns, or make a once-off donation.