YOUR SAFETY, SUPPORT AND BACKUP:
Read important information about the Support & Backup you receive before you leave and during your programme.
Read about the Safety and Security measures we take to ensure your safety and wellbeing while on our programme.
ABOUT THE RED CROSS CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL:
Established in 1956, the Hospital has become a major centre for paediatric medicine
and surgery in Africa. The Red Cross treats up to 300,000 children each year, from
South Africa and beyond its borders. The Red Cross Children's Hospital is the centre
at which undergraduate and postgraduate medical students receive their core training
in paediatric disciplines. Specialist paediatric nurses and allied paediatric health
care providers, such as physiotherapists, child psychologists, speech and occupational
therapists are also trained here.
The Hospital is equally active in preventative health care, and plays a critical
role in educating community health workers, thereby facilitating the exportation
of models of good practice to the community. Several services are provided, including
education of children, parents and community health care workers in, for example,
HIV, Aids, family planning and contraception, rehydration and nutrition.
The Hospital has also established and maintains three significant national information
database resources (The Poisons Information Service, The Childcare Information Centre,
and the Childhood Accident Prevention Foundation of South Africa (CAPFSA)). The
new medical emergency entrance was completed in June 2001. The new specialist outpatients
wing was built in phases and completed in June 2001. The Red Cross War Memorial
Children’s Hospital’s new specialist outpatients and medical emergency facilities
is a lasting symbol of community generosity and fundraising success. The staff education
building was completed in 1998 and includes the Johnson and Johnson Hall for functions
and lecture rooms for the training of nursing staff.
The “Ikhaya la Rotary” (Home of Rotary) section was completed in 1998, specifically
to provide accommodation for out-of-town parents whose children are being treated
at the Hospital. The Ikhaya has rooms of all sizes, ranging from double rooms to
rooms with 6 bunks … and all 63 beds are often in use! The rooms are comfortable
in the hopes of alleviating just a little some of the stress of having a child in
The Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital performs many operations on children,
e.g. Conjoined twin separations, liver and kidney transplants, to name a few. The
theatres are busy 7 days a week, 24 hours a day.
COMMENT FROM ELEANOR, TRAVELLERS VOLUNTEER CO-ORDINATOR
IN CAPE TOWN:
Last week I visited Cindy at
the hospital in the ward. The wards are beautifully decorated – murals everywhere,
pictures, mobiles and bright attractive curtains. Everything possible is done to
take away that sombre depressing look hospitals usually have. There seemed to be
nearly as many volunteers as nurses!
The children in that ward were mostly small babies, and were being cuddled and comforted.
Many of the mothers were sitting with their children – but of course some have to
go to work, so the volunteers take over. There had been a large number of gastro-enteritis
patients recently – seems to have been a serious tummy bug in Cape Town affecting
children in townships and the hospital had been caring for lots of them. There
were also lots of other little babies with various syndromes and illnesses – malnutrition,
foetal alcohol syndrome and so on.
Volunteers only get told briefly about the medical conditions of the children –
job is to hug, comfort, play and try to take their little patients’ minds off how
ill they are. Cindy was finding it very interesting to work there.
Cindy has made a number of friends at the hospital. Yesterday I took Cindy and Hannah
for coffee and cake. We chatted about Cape Town, transport, languages and customs
of different people. They all seem to be finding living in Cape Town a wonderful
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU BOOK YOUR PLACEMENT?
Once you have applied for a placement, we'll contact you and send you our Welcome
Pack. You'll also receive Log-on details and password for our Volunteer Extranet
where you'll have access to all the documentation and information which we've put
together to facilitate preparations for your adventure! Your Project Co-ordinator
for your country will liaise with you throughout the arrangements process, as well
as while you're on your placement and on your return home.
The documents you'll have access to also include a Country Factfile, Safety Guide
and any manuals that may assist you on your particular programme (e.g. Teaching
Guide, Sports Manuals, Enrichment Suggestions for Animal Care, etc.). We do all
we can to make your stay one that you'll never forget. This is a truly awesome,
elegant and beautiful country.
On Arrival, your Introduction to the Country:
When you arrive you will be welcomed by a member of our team who will take you to
your accommodation and introduce you to everyone. During your first few days you'll
be given an induction so that you can learn about the country and its culture, as
well as other useful information, like how to use the transport system, banks, safety
issues, tipping, and lots more.
VOLUNTEERING WITH CHILDREN AND VULNERABLE
As well as protecting all our volunteers, Travellers Worldwide is committed to all
our projects and dedicated to practices which protect children and vulnerable adults
from harm. Read Travellers' Child Care and Vulnerable Adults Policy.