“At the beginning of this year I was given a tour of the RED CROSS CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL. To tell you how incredibly moved I was would be an understatement to say the least.
The doctors, medical staff, teachers and administrative staff really do perform miracles on a daily basis. There are some wards that have been rebuilt and given a make over. The National Lottery provided funds for a new Oncology ward. It is bright, modern and well equipped and is in strong contrast to the operating theatre that I was shown next. I don’t think that I will ever forget that experience and how moved I was. The recovery ward was in the passage along with theatre equipment that was being stored there. The waiting room is just outside the theatre doors, next to the public lifts which service the rest of the floors in the hospital. There is no privacy and there are two plastic chairs for the parents to sit on and wait. If there is more than one operation going on, then the other parents have to stand!
I was so humbled by the experience that I undertook to help raise funds for the hospital. I decided there and then that I would arrange for the patients to have art lessons at both schools within the hospital and host an exhibition to sell their masterpieces and to raise funds for life saving equipment for the hospital.”
The Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital is the only specialist hospital dedicated entirely to children in sub-Saharan Africa. It opened its doors in 1956 as a highly specialised children's healthcare facility. It is a living memorial for soldiers who died in WWII. The Red Cross treats up to 300,000 children each year, from South Africa and beyond its borders. It offers a comprehensive range of specialist paediatric services to children from all nine provinces and from all over Africa. It is a centre of excellence for the training of all categories of child health professionals.
Nkanyiso, 11 years old: He came to the Red Cross Hospital for treatment, all alone, by train from Natal.
Jack’s Ellie, Jack, 8 years old: Jack loved his sculpture classes with Tania Babb. He is such a perfectionist, which shows in his work.
Wise Old Owl: Sydney, 10 years old
The Vanilla Canvas Gallery is located at 2 Hanover Road, Diep River, Cape Town. Their telephone number is +27 21 712-2843.