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Zimbabwe: 33-year-old Marvellous Fungurani

Date of Diary session: 20 August, 2020

Access to potable water is the major problem; and being a woman, this poses a threat to my dignity and my femininity.

I am currently locked down with my siblings and my parents. The atmosphere is sombre, but manageable. With the lockdown restrictions loosened, everyone is trying to maximize on the little time and freedom they have to ensure families are fed and business is catered for. For some, the lockdown juxtaposed with the economic paralysis still threatens their livelihoods, yet some are maximizing out of the dire situation.

Coping strategies

In times like these, inventing effective coping strategies is hard work. Prayers, innovative, diligent and deliberate practices are a daily routine for me so as to manage this desperate situation. Creation of new networks has helped in terms of mitigating transport challenges; but accessing some areas and services still proves tedious.

Availability of sanitary wear in shops is not much of a problem, however, the prices for pads have skyrocketed over the past five months. Access to potable water is the major problem; and being a woman, this poses a threat to my dignity and my femininity.

During this COVID-19 pandemic, I have been helping my family to access potable water, as well as assisting my siblings with school work. I also help the less privileged in my community with food and/or money from time to time.

Part-time Masters student

As a part-time Masters student, at first I struggled with my dissertation as I needed to use the library, visit the sites, and meet with my supervisor and colleagues. However, I had to improve and study online and I benefited a lot from diverse material from journals and various academic sites, as well as YouTube. For work, I used online platforms and social media to communicate with my colleagues and clients as well as executing my duties.

I miss going out with my friends and going to church, and visiting the salon. Once all this is over, I will visit my sister in Durban, South Africa. I'm really worried about what the future holds for us in the face of the economic crisis perpetuated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, even during this pandemic, I am very grateful for the gift of life; my loved ones are safe, and somehow certain problems in my life were ironically solved during the crisis. Life as it is has been one big oxymoron!

Success is attracted by the transition of what is happening in our minds.

My advice to other young people is: success is not really in doing; success is attracted by the transition of what is happening in our minds, which is a reflection of what we are becoming. What eyes have not seen, what ears have not heard, what the hearts have not conceived, The Lord will do for us. We cannot attract a reality higher than our mental reality. Let us transform our minds, and come out stronger and more innovative than before!

About the #YouthAndCOVID19 Series

The UNFPA East and Southern Africa Regional Office, through its flagship programme for youth, the Safeguard Young People programme, has been engaging with young people in the region to find out how they are coping with the current COVID-19 pandemic. The aim of the project is to share best practices among the youth and to expose them to the many interventions and responses to COVID-19 that UNFPA and its partners have put in place during this time.

To share your story, click here.

- Lindiwe Siyaya