South Africa
Overview of research project
During this time of a global pandemic, individuals all over the world are experiencing some sort of acute stress, uncertainty and anxiety (Presti, McHugh, Gloster, Karekla,
& Hayes, 2020; Schimmenti, Billieux, & Vladan, 2020; Shah, Kamrai, Mekala, Mann, & Desai, 2020; Wallace et al., 2020) that brings upon fear of the unknown. This calls for a paradigm shift, by creating a lens that recognizes strengths, assets, hopes, and potential of individuals during this pandemic, resulting in the emergence of resilience research and a shift from a problem-oriented approach towards an approach that focuses on strengths (Richardson, 2002; Werner 2005). Individuals all over the world experience daily struggles and challenges, and with the development of a global pandemic, resilience is essential now more than ever for success in everyday life and promoting healthy behaviours. Deriving from a strength-based perspective (Bernard, 2004; Saleebey, 2009), the researcher aims to understand the variables contributing to individual and community resilience in the South African population by focusing on different populations and faith-based groups in an attempt to affirm the potential in people to enhance strength instead of a focus on deficits. At this point, little is known about the positive adaptation to adversity during COVID-19 and how it unfolds over time across communities, different populations, and faith-based groups and therefore it provides an opportunity for researchers to tap into the minds of South Africans and explore what variables contributed to their resilience during this crisis. We are all in this global pandemic together; there is no one that is left out. Covid-19 affects us all physically, mentally, and emotionally. If we can explore the resiliency enablers of persons in different communities across South Africa, we can perhaps prevent stress, depression, and mental health issues in the future.

Phase 1
Objective 1: What are the indicators of resilience in South Africans during the global pandemic, COVID-19
With this objective, the researcher would like to investigate the indicators that contribute to the resilience of South Africans. The inclusion criteria for this objective would be:
• South Africans above the age of 18 – the reason for this is due to ethical concerns.
• South Africans who were residing in South Africa for the period of the lockdown, which would be March – current
• Both male and female
• South Africans who are employed and unemployed
• South Africans who can speak English and any other of the 11 official languages
• South Africans of all professions and employment
• South Africans who are willing to form part of this study

To reach this objective, the researcher will compile a demographic and semi-structured interview encompassing questions relating to the participants' health, well-being, inherent strengths, capabilities, and social support. This semi-structured interview scheduled will be placed on an online platform for respondents to complete. The schedule will be translated into all official languages of South Africa to include many people as possible. The schedule will also be printed, and it will be arranged that field workers go to communities to have it completed.

Phase 2
Objective 2: What accounts for the academic resilience of grade 12 youth during the uncertain times of COVID-19
Oprah Winfrey (2018), in her keynote address, once said that to reduce poverty in South Africa, the nation needs educated individuals. A step to reducing poverty in South Africa is to complete grade 12 and explore tertiary education with an intention to enter the labour market and earn an income. In South Africa, Grade 12 results are the main public interest as they determine the learner’s entrance into tertiary institutions (Department of Basic Education, 2010). Besides, this critical year also brings upon stress, anxiety, and uncertainty of the future. Due to the outbreak of COVID-19, schools in South Africa have closed, and learners have missed almost three months of learning and training. This poses a significant impact on grade 12 learners. To fulfill this objective, the researcher will create a semi-structured interview schedule that investigates the attributes enabling academic resilience in grade 12. This phase will only commence once the grade 12 results are released.
The inclusion criteria for this objective would be:
• Grade 12 learners who completed grade 12 in 2020
• Grade 12 learners who completed grade 12 in 2020 for the first time
• Grade 12 learners who did not form part of the study for phase 1
• Grade 12 learners from various quantile schools
• Grade 12 learners who are willing to form part of this study

Phase 3
Objective 3: Investigating the resilience across different faith-based groups in South Africa
This objective would not need any further interview schedules or measures as the data would come from objective 1; during this phase, comparisons will be made between different faith-based groups in terms of the resilience enablers.
Phase 4
Objective 4: Comparing attributes of resilience in samples from South Africa, China, and Italy.
To fulfill this objective. The semi-structured interview used in phase 1 will be translated into Chinese and Italian to make comparisons between countries.

A conceptual or empirical justification of the activity in terms of human development, its relevance to South Africa and to the thematic areas of the CoE
The nature of this research is vital to human development and well-being of individuals as we do not have any control of the virus. However, we can control our feelings, attitudes, and behaviours. With resilience research, we tap into the strengths and assets of communities and bring out their positive adaptation to this pandemic. Lessons learned from this pandemic will help individuals with stressors and challenges later in life.
Name of researcher/developer
T Sayed
Primary organisation
North West University
Opportunity type
Opportunity detail
The researcher is seeking funding in order to fulfill the objectives of this study. A sum of R500 000 once off would assist the researcher to include field workers to assist with data collection and incentives
No funding to date to undertake project
Stage of development
Research in progress - PhD study
Research Category
Social Science