Hospital can be nice for kids

2015-06-09 06:00

Most children don’t like being hospitalised.

This is because of the experience they go through at the hospital and the pain the may have while they are there.

But one organisation has been working for more than 38 years to make sure that children who are hospitalised at the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital feel at ease. The Friends of the Children’s Hospital Association in Rondebosch are doing all they can to make sure that those who end up at the hospital have a pleasant stay. They work hard to make sure that the patients recover quickly with a positive belief that a hospital is not a place where people go to die but to be nursed back to health.

Working with volunteers they play with children in the wards during their stay.

The association organises various activities for the children. For example, they organise that children and parents who have been at the hospital for long, go out for shopping or take a limousine ride to the Waterfront once a month.

Volunteers take toys, books and other things to play with and read in the wards.

One of the volunteers, Dejenea Shaw (21), says she really loves working with the children. “I’m glad that I could give my time to the kids that need me. Playing with them and helping them recover gives me so much joy. The association is really doing a wonderful job to take care of the kids. Kids like it when we play with toys and read for them. They really feel at ease,” says Shaw.

David Stephens, director of the Friends of the Children’s Hospital Association, says it’s high time that people know what they do. “We help kids a lot. For years we have been working underground but I feel now it’s time to give back to the people that support us and volunteer their time to help us. This means a lot to the children. It changes their mindset about the hospital completely and it makes them recover well,” says Stephens.

Though its primary focus is on the children the organisation also helps their parents. At times parents come without a change of clothes for them or their children, so the association helps them out.

“We are functioning because of donations. What we get, we give to those who are in need at the hospital. We also help parents. It’s not easy to have a sick child so we try to put their minds at ease by giving them food and things that they might need like toiletries and clothes whilst their kids are in hospital,” says Stephens.

One of the parents, Nadeema Basadien (36), says the help that the parents get from the Friends is heart-warming.

“They make you feel at home. When a child is sick you can’t think straight and as parents we forget the things that they really need and some of us don’t have them so they help us. When I came here I had no toiletries because I forgot. I wasn’t expecting to stay for long and I found myself in need of toiletries so the association came to my rescue. Their work is really wonderful,” says Basadien.

Though the organisation has been running for long it wishes to continue helping people in need. The Association is pleading for donations of crayons and colouring books. They also wish to have a constant supply of toiletries and clothes.


You can take your donations to the Friends of the Children’s Hospital Association at the hospital or call 021 658 5243

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