This amazing program is committed to helping make the hospital experience less traumatic for the young patients that are treated there.
About the Program
This hospital is the only dedicated specialist pediatric hospital serving the children of Southern Africa. The hospital is a national asset and handles the worst cases of disease and chronic illness in children under 12 years of age.
Focus areas include renal and liver transplants, specialised burn care, neurosurgery, cancer treatment, intensive care, HIV/Aids research, TB, re-hydration and co-ordination, and management in the care of chronic disorders.
The Friends of the Hospital Association is a non-profit organisation based at the Children’s Hospital. They’ve been in existence since 1978, operating as The Family Resource Centre.
Their purpose is to accelerate and maintain the recovery of patients attending the Children’s Hospital by providing resources, education and support to patients, caregivers and immediate families. As FRIENDS, they believe that physical and emotional healing work simultaneously.
Throughout our lives we all need friends – and even more so when one of our children is sick and in hospital. This program is committed to helping make the hospital experience less traumatic for patients and their families by providing emotional support as well as practical assistance. This association depends solely on the support of the community. With your help they are able to provide a more comfortable stay for the children and their families at the hospital – because happiness is going home!
This is a “Play Volunteer Program”:
Play in the wards is a time and space where patients can express the healthy part of themselves. It aims to bring about a sense of wellbeing, an escape from the “illness”. It creates a warm and happy environment where kids can be kids and not patients. It is during this time that patients can express their playfulness. It is also within this playful relationship that the child’s emotional and social development is encouraged. You will come to realize that you form part of a multi-disciplinary team, which facilitates the healing process of the little children. It is important to remember that you will not be involved in any medical procedures as per South African health professional laws. Your main responsibility will be to have and create fun.
Monday – Friday, from 09:00 – 13:00 and 14:00 – 16:00:
You take turns visiting the wards and clinics. You may choose to be in the ‘healthier’ wards if you are not strong enough to handle the really sick areas. You visit the hospital wards, all dressed up in a fun apron and with brightly colored toy trolleys filled with fun goodies, giving love and comfort to sick children who are often scared and missing their families. You interact with patients through appropriate play, reading, and other interactive activities. You will be expected to help wherever necessary, including doing administration tasks, helping in the storeroom and assisting the Friends’ Fundraising Shop.
Together with other volunteers and language students from Good Hope Studies you can take part in the entertainment program of the Social Club. There are organised events, outings and tours most evenings and at the weekends.
Local activities in Cape Town
Weekend trips away
On most weekends, especially on long weekends, we organise trips further away from Cape Town that include overnight stays in hostels. The Garden Route tour is the most popular of all.
You will need to arrive at Cape Town International Airport. Our driver will meet you at the airport and take you to your accommodation.
You will live at the Volunteer House. It is a private house in an upmarket residential area and consists of rooms with 2 single beds and 2 bunk beds. There are 4 bathrooms to share, a communal kitchen, a dining room, a lounge with TV and DVD and a beautiful garden with a swimming pool. A commercial laundry service is close by. Bedding is provided. Towels are not provided.
Meals are self-catering. The main shopping areas as well as restaurants, pubs, etc. are within walking distance of Volunteer House. The Children’s Hospital has its own tuck shop and a canteen; furthermore, it is close to a shopping centre with a Woolworths.
This program caters for the poor in a developing community in Hout Bay. You care for young children in the mornings, in the afternoons you assist older children.
As a volunteer you can make a positive difference by using surfing as a tool to change the lives of Cape Town's underprivileged children.