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AGM Chairlady's report - 26 June 2021

Dear Brescia Alumnae

Last year this time we were 3 months into the COVID-19 pandemic and life has changed from what we were used too. More than a year in, so much has happened:

1. What began as a strange concept for the majority of the world has become engrained in each of us today. Yes, masks have become a part of who we are. For those who choose to, we are able to express ourselves with fashionable masks. We are eternally grateful for each and every one of us who plays our part in stopping the spread of this virus by wearing our masks in public and when we are around others.

2. Zoom meetings have become the new way of life. Meetings (school, work, business) and social gatherings (birthdays, weddings, dinners) are moving forward. Technology has played such a big role in how the world has moved forward. Previously adoption to advancements in technology have always been relatively slow or embraced by millennials and Gen Z’s however as we stand here today, we have no option but to lean into technology as a necessity to navigating our daily lives.

3. We had a change in Primary school heads. Earlier this year we wished well to Mrs Ann Owgan as she embraced the next chapter of her life and welcomed Mrs Deborah Zambon. Mrs Owgan was also made an honorary member of the alumnae so we look forward to her continued contribution as well as the fresh perspective that Mrs Zambon will bring.

4. Je’mae had a baby. I was meant to stand in for her for a few months and now I stand here as the chairlady of the alumnae. I’m proud to serve as your chairlady with the guidance and support of the committee. I have full confidence in the committee and their dedication to shaping and moulding the alumnae into a world class platform.

As a committee, despite not being able to go ahead with most of our plans for 2020 and 2021, we have made some great achievements:

· We have been able to focus on building relationships with future alumnae members. We want to build a community that is relatable to all our members. The committee has a mix of older and younger members and those who are somewhere in-between. This means the brain power and creativity to achieve success in everything we do is not in short supply.

· We have been wanting to formally introduce our Sports Club for a while now however due to the pandemic that is still on hold until we feel it’s safe for us to go ahead. Millions of people across the country have embraced using their living room as an exercise studio lead by newly discovered instructors on YouTube. Why not use various online platforms as an opportunity to bring us together while staying healthy. It’s the perfect setting to hit the pause button when intensity gets a bit much without the subtle eye of judgement from your fellow sisters.

· We are scheduled to officially launch Webinar sessions in August (in honour of Woman’s month). We encourage the alumnae to contribute their ideas for topics they would like to discuss and hear about so we can start putting together a great line-up

· Thank you to all the MySchool members ( who have diligently continued to swipe and spend - enabling us to raise funds for this platform.

· We are working on building a Business and Career Network Directory which will place advice and brain-storming sessions within reach of your fingertips. No need to wait for our annual events to get the help/advice you could use immediately.

. We are still optimistic about fulfilling our annual events (Covid 19 dependant and with protocols firmly in place). namely: the Homecoming Picnic, Sports Day, Young Alumnae Cocktail Party, Career/Networking tea and Induction Assembly

· Homecoming Picnic – once the weather warms up and we can enjoy the outdoors, bring out the picnic baskets. Details will be shared closer to the time.

· A little friendly competition never hurt anyone - we look forward to hosting our sports day and having as many of the alumnae as possible participating.

· The Young Alumnae Cocktail Party didn’t take place as per usual this year however we were able to repurpose the event in honour of the 2020 matriculants who used the time to have their well-deserved matric farewell. But fear not class of 2020, you have not been forgotten. We have a new date in mind - watch the space for details.

· It’s more important than ever to ensure we remain available to our younger sisters with relevant career advice. The networking tea is specifically targeted at our Grade 9s and 11s at a critical time in their schooling journey where they decide on subjects and university paths to take. This year, this event has gone digital – less of an event but more of a library which will host rich information regarding all the careers plus more that the ladies want to know about.

· We will be officially inducting the 2021 Matrics into the alumnae in September. We look forward to taking this committee to new heights with fresh ideas and more new members.

As you can all see, not all has been lost. It has been an opportunity for us to regroup and find alternative ways to ensure that this community of ladies is still able to network. I cannot stress how important each and every alumnae voice is to making this platform a success. This is our platform and as such should represent the interests, support and diversity of the community. As we do life, may we not do life alone. Whether its life’s challenges and celebrations to businesses and careers may we always feel free to lean on the sisterhood we are all working so hard to build.

We look forward to achieving great things in the year that lies ahead of us. May we continue to adapt and embrace our ever evolving new normal and welcome opportunities that we will grab with both hands as we step into a future of possibilities and success.

Yours Sincerely

Ruvimbo Mandonga


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