Giving of our Time – Mandela Day 2018
For Mandela Day 2018, PropertyFox chose to spend some time brightening the day of children in the Paediatrics ward of Tygerberg Hospital.
In this ward, the children’s ages ranged from babies of a few months to 16 years old. The majority of the children come from low-income homes, where if they are lucky to have both parents, the parents can’t spend that much time with them at the hospital as they still need to earn a living wage, and thus volunteers, along with the nurses, are most appreciated. Someone to listen to them, play with them, or just a holding hand that offers comfort.
Most of the kids in the ward are struggling with the fight against Cancer.
It was incredibly humbling for our team to be able to each spend time with the children, bring them books to read, colouring books, crayons as well as a little pre-packed lunch box.
The ward itself is old, but incredibly clean. The children come first. The nurses are friendly and go above and beyond to put the children first. Each room had at least one nurse to keep an eye on the kids at all times. The place is bustling. No one is sitting around at any time. These nurses are passionate about making a difference – making a connection with each child, despite knowing they may only know them a short time. What they do is emotionally exhausting, but they do it with fervour and love.
“Visiting Tygerberg Hospital for Mandela Day was a moving experience. Not only did it put into perspective how small my own problems are, but it also reminded me how a person has the power to choose joy. The nurses, sisters and volunteers in the ward we visited were extremely pleasant, gentle and loving. It is clear to see the passion they have – this is much more than a job for them. The ward manager, when asked whether she struggles with getting too attached to the children, gave an eye-opening perspective: “When you work, where do you do your best or put your most energy into? It’s what you are passionate about. I am passionate about these children, even if it means getting attached to them. That is the best way I can take care of them.” – Celeste Schwarz, PropertyFox Digital Graphic Designer
Due to the nature of the illness and, depending on the stage of the illness, or how quickly it was diagnosed, the children spend a few hours, or some, a few weeks in hospital. There are patients here that drive very far for their treatment. Some as far as Rawsonville. What we really loved is that an organisation called CHOC (Childhood Cancer Foundation) as built a facility at this hospital where the parent and the child (on long stays, or where white blood cell count is low) can stay at the facility as a family where full-board is provided to them. This, so that they can be spared the long travel and costs of travel of getting their child to the treatment, but also get their child to the treatment in- and on-time. The sisters here are passionate about what they do and how they care for these families. The CHOC facility has nurses 24/7.
“Being a mom I felt privileged that we were able to support other mums and their kids during this difficult time for them, and it’s amazing that CHOC has facilities it has for moms and their kids, as I can imagine it gets costly doing both. I am happy to have met such selfless people today.” – Lebohang Mgolodela, PropertyFox Head of Offers Desk
For our team, the short two hours spent giving of our time, brought through mixed emotions. One thing is clear. There are a lot of charities that require so much help in this country. Young, old, homeless and animal alike. One day a year is not enough, and we will be making an effort to this charity, and more, on a regular basis.
Christine da Silva, PropertyFox CMO
More highlights from our team from the day:
“This morning was full of lessons and timely reminders for me. Firstly, I was reminded just how fortunate we are to have our health and how valuable it really is, no matter who you are. Secondly, I was reminded how small gestures are big gestures in hospital. The gift of time (and reading, chatting and colouring with them) bought such joy to the children’s day, and it didn’t cost us a cent. Thirdly, children love books. Sticker books, colouring books, picture books or novels – no matter their age, children love them. Books allow children to escape from their current situation for a while, and in hospital, this is vital. And finally, I was reminded just how important it is to give back. We are a unique and vibrant work ‘family’ and together we can make a difference, just as we did today. From the children to their parents, nurses and the staff at Choc, everyone was so grateful we chose them to spend our time with them this Mandela Day.”- Nardee Brims, PropertyFox Ops Manager
“I was extremely impressed to see how well-run the facilities were, and how much care goes into the ward from the nurses and young doctors. It’s so wonderful to see professionals treat these patients with the utmost care, and their passion is inspiring. I loved spending actual quality time with these extremely ill patients.”- Maxine Miller, PropertyFox Listings Manager