Good memories for Dutch interns

2019-02-05 06:20
Students, from left, Willemyn Beurskens, Fieke Litjens, Tyra Geldof, Isa Peerlings and Claire Hoedemakers with patients during the art room programme. PHOTO: Nomzamo Yuku

Students, from left, Willemyn Beurskens, Fieke Litjens, Tyra Geldof, Isa Peerlings and Claire Hoedemakers with patients during the art room programme. PHOTO: Nomzamo Yuku

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A blessing in disguise, isn’t it?

When a group of five students from the Netherlands were disappointed by an organisation with which they had intended to do their internship in late November, they were placed at Maitland Cottage Children’s Orthopaedic Hospital in Newlands.

With no plan or set guidelines, the hospital admits they had no blissful beginnings but managed to create wonderful moments together.

The students ended up raising over R24 000 through the fundraising events they hosted at the hospital.

And with no medical experience, as they are studying Hospitality Management at Maastricht University, all they could offer was to help with the art room projects and entertain the patients.

These patients are children recovering from deformities of bones or muscles, mostly due to injuries.

They say they enjoyed the two months they spent at the hospital.

Intern Isa Peerlings says: “We enjoyed the time we spent with the children. It gave us a different perspective in life as we come from a very different background – we are studying hospitality management. The experience has been amazing.”

Another student, Thyra Geldof, says they also love Cape Town and got to explore the city and the “beautiful” beaches.

“But mostly, we loved being able to do fundraising and getting to meet the community and other students we invited to our events. We chose the project of funding diapers because we realised a real need since most of the children are bedridden at the time of their admission.”

Fiona Kunz, the administrator at the hospital, says the students were in the country to do their general internship and were a “great asset” to them. She says the amount the students raised will at least allow the hospital to provide nappies for the next six months.

Kunz says it is always amazing for them to have volunteers to keep the children occupied during the day as they do not have a pre-school for younger children.

Josephine Joseph, an independent fundraiser for the hospital, adds that as a plan to improve their services they are looking at buying a new modified vehicle to transport children. The vehicle will cost over R400 000. And they still need funding for day-to-day costs which include bandages, meals and toiletries including nappies,

“Those are the kind of things we need. We call them operational costs, because they are day-to-day running costs. We are supplying services to extended communities. Please assist us so that we can make the children comfortable with us and provide them with the quality service they need. A lot of children coming to us would not be able to get services without our help,” says Joseph.V For more information about volunteering at the hospital, visit Maitland Cottage Children’s Orthopaedic Hospital on Facebook.

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