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491 views Apr 18, 2020
PAUWES: LIFE UNDER LOCKDOWN FOR THE SIXTH COHORT

In a world where COVID-19 statistics update, from official sites and unfortunately other hoax/fake news via social platforms such as Facebook and WhatsApp spreads it’s generally confusing and at most times overwhelming for most people. COVID-19 has become a daily conversation and a reality impacting all society's aspects and for PAUWES students it’s the University life's experience. The focus being far from their homes, anxiety and worry can easily become the norm. So how are the Pan African Students coping with the official imposed lockdown for the past month, one would wonder?


The longing for their homes and a return to the academic routines they had grown accustomed to, has been a shared concern among the students. Strategies to cope with social distancing, self-isolation or quarantine are not readily available in any student manual so creativity and ingenuity has become a necessity for survival.


The sixth cohort that comprises a combination of academic giants from the Cape to Cairo hailing from the vast regions of our motherland namely the gold coast of Ghana, the Congo carpeted rain forest, the beautiful Zanzibar island of Tanzania, the Kalahari game reserve of Botswana and the great elegant Minarets of Mansourah, devastation, eagerness with hope for an end to this long isolation and immobility that has incapacitated their lifestyles and put a hold on their academic programs, they have had to rise up with creativity, empathy and sympathy for one another as their twin information and concern for their home countries where their families are and their current temporary home in Algeria, so spreading hope and love for each other has become a necessity for survival .This is an uncertain time for everyone, and with different home countries' news updates combined with Algeria's one may be impacted by fear and anxiety. However the 6th Cohort strives to stand the test of time in this lockdown through pure ingenuity and a shared feeling of being each other's keeper as African brothers and sisters in arms has become a source of unifier and spirit of hope for the Cohort.

Students have found means to learn new languages, others have taken up passion to learn the different cultures of their friends, and others have found time to bond with each other while mostly the best friend of each student being either his smartphone or laptop., the lockdown has made students to diversify knowledge through online learning, conversations, among others and from a negative perspective it has made students to cling to their beds as a solace. Creativity with interaction and staying connected during social distancing has led to open engagements and comic satire to pass time and give mental relief from anxiety.


In attempts to help regain structure at such a time to academic life, the different clubs have become a source of activity with weekly challenges. These have helped the students find mindful practices and creative pursuits as they work on their weekly assigned tasks. The students come up with initiatives and mind-provoking debates held weekly via their respective club WhatsApp platforms. The Entrepreneurship and Innovation club (PEIC) together with Gender and Climate change club (PGCCC) have embraced technology as the rest of the world has had to under current circumstances as a potential learning and enlightening instrument to keep students engaged and progressive in their pursuits on their various virtual platforms


For food provision and supply, besides the residence administration which tries to make the stay for students normal, the host students have also taken up the initiative to lend a hand in providing the other necessities for their colleagues under lockdown thereby minimizing movement in line with residence administration orders.


The Cohort WhatsApp platforms have become a place of shared humor and creative puns to pass time as comic relief in times where anxiety and panic attacks among other mental health issues may arise. This has helped most students to build a feeling of community at a time where widespread panic and doom may become overwhelming, for the 6th Cohort they have taken this as a time to find “the needle in the haystack” for tough times call for tough people who can stand in the storm with creativity and focus, and above all spiritual wisdom in arms , the 6th Cohort stands as a family connected through academic purpose and now with shared concerns as an example of the value of 'Ubuntuism' , connected hearts and minds working together with technology on its side and creativity in trying times of COVID-19.

Compiled by THE EDITORIAL TEAM 2020