The teachers and hospital workers have been on strike for over a week now. Some schools have closed, but for those that remain open, the doors are locked for security reasons (to protect the teachers who refuse to strike, as well as the students). Many of the government hospitals have been hard hit, and patients are being transferred to private hospitals or left unattended. Several patients have died because there are no staff to attend to their medical needs. The staff that wants to continue working are being threatened by the striking workers. 2,400 soldiers have been deployed to 42 hospitals across the country to help out, but it isn't enough.
Tomorrow we are going to volunteer at one of those hospitals. A call has gone out for volunteers to help mop floors, cook food, or do laundry. We obviously can't fill in for the doctors or nurses, but we can do a little bit to make the hospital more pleasant for the patients who are having to endure a harrowing hospital experience. So many South Africans have already stepped up to the plate and are helping out. I am so proud of them.
Tonight in the news we found out that the police, traffic officers and prison wardens are planning to join the country-wide strike beginning on Saturday.
The country has quickly fallen into turmoil following the successful World Cup, but I believe it can also quickly turn around, if we each do our part. Gandhi once said, "Be the change you want to see in the world." South Africa is teetering on a precipice between despair and greatness. Pray for South Africa. I want her to be great.