Over 60 community volunteers and artists came together to brighten up the walls of the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital and the lives of the children cared for there over the Youth Day weekend, 16 – 17 June.
The iconic health care facility now has over 30 new colourful and artistic murals decorating the halls of the Outpatients Department, Pharmacy waiting area, and the Edu-care Centre bringing a sparkle to the eyes of patients, parents, children and staff.
“I am blown away by the artworks! They have done a fabulous job.” – Dr Anita Parbhoo, Medical Manager, Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital.
“We are thankful for the generosity displayed by all who have contributed in brightening up the walls of our hospital. This will further brighten the faces of our patients and staff,” said Dr Matodzi Mukosi, CEO of the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital.
“A special thanks goes to Quality Paint Supplies, who lovingly donated the paint for the project, and other donors like Checkers, Ian Dicky, Africa Film Services, Setsmart, Glacier by Sanlam, Stephan du Toit Photography and Franco Frazzitta who helped make this year the biggest project ever,” said Chris Lategan, organiser of Painting it Forward.
ABOUT PAINTING IT FORWARD
Painting it Forward is an annual event that was established in 2014 by Chris Lategan, a local Cape Town resident. After learning of a growing tumour at the centre of his brain Chris had a life-saving operation and wanted to ‘pay it forward’ as a thank you to the medical professionals and staff that helped him and nursed him back to health.
Chris, an Art Director in the Cape Town film industry, called on friends, family and the local community and in 2014 gathered over 100 eager and talented individuals to paint a Children’s ward at Tygerberg Hospital. The walls were cleaned, repainted and decorated with colourful murals. After positive feedback from hospital staff, parents and the children themselves, the event was then repeated at the Tygerberg Hospital School in 2015 and Karl Bremer in 2016.
After seeing the initiative sparking the emergence of a Painting it Forward as far afield as Taiwan in 2016 and 2017, Painting it Forward Cape Town, in partnership with The Daniel and Friends Fund (a registered NPO that works with children with special needs), will be splashing their paint on the walls of the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital in Rondebosch in June this year.
ABOUT DANIEL AND FRIENDS FUND
Daniel and Friends Fund is a Non-Profit Organisation which was launched in January 2014 in remembrance of Daniel le Roux, who passed away at the tender age of three due to complications related to Leigh’s Disease.
The Fund is driven by directors Lianie le Roux and Kate Laurie and Jolize Gerber. Kate and Lianie are mothers to special needs children themselves. They strive to provide an extensive range of support to other families caring for differently-abled children, with the unique insight provided to them through their own personal experiences. The main areas of support include, but are not limited to:
- Emotional support for the entire family through a 24hr online group for the moms, social activities for the whole family, sibling appreciation days, etc.
- Education and empowerment tools facilitated through various workshops, for instance CPR Courses, physiotherapy sessions and relationship counselling in order to equip our parents with the necessary knowledge and confidence needed to care for their families and, especially, their special needs children.
- Financial assistance to relieve, where possible, the often unexpected and overwhelming flood of expenses involved with caring for a child with complicated needs.
- Raising awareness in order to advocate on behalf of our families to society the daunting challenges those affected by disability deal with on a daily basis, as well as to provide a platform for building a stronger, more intimate special needs community.
- Keeping within our awareness objectives, we created the DIFFERENT IS COOL SCHOOL AWARENESS CAMPAIGN which is a program we present to school-going children. We have found that often ignorance and/or, at times, even contempt is born simply from a fear of not knowing enough about the situation, what to expect and how to behave. Because we believe that empathy and understanding needs to be instilled at a young age, we have designed a program which is both informative & fun, as well as easily related to by young children. The 15-30 minute program carries a profound message and focuses on the misperceptions neuro-typical children might have about children with special needs and the sort of challenges they face, the effects this has on their families and, specifically, siblings (who often find themselves victims of bullying ). The team that runs this program is Lianie le Roux ( Director ), Minki Burger ( well-known for Lollos and also Daniel and Friends Fund ambassador ), and Lizel Smit ( Operation support team of Daniel and Friends Fund )
Aside from the above, the Fund is currently committed to various projects as well:
- Touching The Heart Initiative:
A project headed up by the Fund’s founder, Professor Fourie, which provides a window into the lives of families caring for disabled/medically-fragile children, by means of a coffee-table book. The initiative also includes a fundraising gala event.
- Different Is Cool Fashion Show:
Which gives differently-abled children the opportunity to shine on the red carpet with wheelchairs, walking aides and doting siblings providing a unique assortment of accessories.
- Painting It Forward:
A joint initiative with cancer-survivor, Chris Lategan, which co-ordinates a group of artists who raise sponsorships and go out and beautify various children’s facilities (to date including Tygerberg Hospital’s Paediatric Ward, Tygerberg Hospital School and Karl Bremer’s Paediatric Ward).
- Sive Nathi Home:
A home in Blackheath which provides fulltime care to 40 severely disabled children between the ages of 1-18yrs. Sive Nathi is our annual Shoebox beneficiary.
The public can offer support by pledging time and expertise through voluntary services (e.g. therapists, etc.) or through financial contributions, be it through monetary donations, providing daily essentials (nappies, formula, etc.) or sponsoring equipment (wheelchairs, walkers, etc.).
Should you require any further information, please visit our Facebook page: Daniel and Friends Fund or website http://danielandfriends.com
 Also referred to as Leigh syndrome is a severe neurological disorder that usually becomes apparent in the first year of life. This condition is characterized by progressive loss of mental and movement abilities (psychomotor regression) and typically results in death within two to three years, usually due to respiratory failure.
Caption: Chris Lategan, founder and organiser of Painting it Forward, with some of the colourful murals painted over Youth Day weekend at the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital. Photo: Stephan du toit photography