Chairperson’s Report | 2020

What can be said about the year 2020 that has not already been said? The mere mention of the year incites so much acrimony. Like everyone else, MDF started off 2020 motivated and determined to reach down within ourselves and make our biggest impact yet. This report should have been my best report to date – where I proudly share with you all our efforts, both big and small, to promote deaf rights and accessibility. Instead, all that goes through my mind whilst writing this is “Thank God I’m still here.”

COVID-19 has wreaked unimaginable havoc around the world. Since first making headlines late 2019, we have all watched the virus slowly reach our doorstep. In one way or another, all of us have been affected by the novel coronavirus. Some of us were infected, some had to bury their next of kin, and some lost their jobs or were just left frustrated as a result of the lockdown regulations put in place. MDF wishes to extend our most heartfelt condolences to those who lost their loved ones. We pray for strength and comfort in these trying times.

In order to combat the spread of the virus, different countries around the world implemented different lockdown restrictions. In South Africa, the lockdown restrictions put in place by President Cyril Ramaphosa was, and continue to be, met with mixed reactions. For MDF, as was the case with many other organizations, the lockdown meant having to cancel the initiatives planned for the year in order to adhere to the regulations. Although disheartened, we understood the gravity of the situation.

As of writing this, the country is under Lockdown Level 3. Whether we will be able to implement all the ideas we had in 2021 remains to be seen but this is not the time to give up hope. For all the bad we had to endure in 2020, it did leave us with some important lessons. “Life is short” suddenly became more than just a cliché. This harsh reminder of our mortality should be met with a new zeal for life. It is okay to just pause and put aside certain things to focus on yourself, especially on your mental health. It is okay to be selfish sometimes. After all, we help ourselves so we can better help others.

It will take some time to adjust to our new normal. The future may look uncertain at this moment, but it is still imperative that we control what we can. We are more resilient than we think and have it within us to come up with alternative means to keep pressing forward. May we continuously remind ourselves of that fact to ensure that we have a prosperous 2021, COME WHAT MAY.

Laszlo Maya

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