Students see to boys’ medical needs

2019-03-13 06:01
The University of the Free State has assigned a group of nine third-year medical students to Kidz Care Trust, a non-profit organisation that sees to the needs of boys who live and work on the streets of Bloemfontein. From the left are, front: Grace Makoro, Nicole Hufke, Ramabole Rampeta and Ashmika Dowlath; back: Cwenga Mgwebi, Chilombo Mung’omba, Minet Prins, Riza Ehlers and Ntoetse Molapo.Photo: Teboho Setena

The University of the Free State has assigned a group of nine third-year medical students to Kidz Care Trust, a non-profit organisation that sees to the needs of boys who live and work on the streets of Bloemfontein. From the left are, front: Grace Makoro, Nicole Hufke, Ramabole Rampeta and Ashmika Dowlath; back: Cwenga Mgwebi, Chilombo Mung’omba, Minet Prins, Riza Ehlers and Ntoetse Molapo.Photo: Teboho Setena

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Kidz Care Trust, a non-profit organisation (NPO) that attends to the basic needs of boys who live and work on the streets of Bloemfontein, has been bolstered by the University of the Free State (UFS).

This university has assigned a group of nine third-year medical students to the organisation to provide medical care.

The centre is located in Roodewal, on the outskirts of Bloemfontein.

Marita van Kraayenburg, manager of Kidz Care Trust, said this is the first time the centre has received much-needed assistance from the UFS.

“There is no public hospital or clinic close enough to offer medical care to the boys,” she said.

For the past 17 years, the UFS has provided surrounding communities with much-needed assistance, making available medical students to attend to the immediate needs of NPOs.

According to Van Kraayenburg, they are delighted to welcome the university into the fold of their organisation.

The group of medical students assigned to Kidz Care Trust is led by Riza Ehlers.

Van Kraayenburg said the first challenge Ehlers and her team had to face was the boys’ great need for basic medical care.

“The students responded to this dire need by organising a mobile clinic from the Free State Department of Health, which now visits the children weekly,” she said.

The students render important services, ranging from information sessions and immunisation to paediatric aid.

In addition, psychology sessions for the boys have also been arranged.

Van Kraayenburg said Kidz Care Trust has identified basic education as the biggest and most pressing need to improve the welfare of the boys.

“Without a proper education, it is impossible for us to integrate as functioning members of society.

“The medical students addressed this challenge by approaching the Brebner High School, St Michael’s School and the St Andrew’s School for donations. Books and chalkboards were donated to Kidz Care Trust,” she said.

To further improve the lives of the boys, Van Kraayenburg said the medical students collaborate with education students to teach the boys basic writing, reading and mathematics skills.

Marketing and fundraising are a secondary objective for the team of medical students.

“The reason we do not focus on marketing or fundraising is because both are often unsustainable,” said Van Kraayenburg.

She said the common goal of the medical students and Kidz Care Trust is to establish a solid network to collaborate with the organisation to improve the lives of these children.

“A once-off donation is simply not enough.”

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