Non-profit organization Surgeons For Little Lives has launched its second big project – to build a lactation unit and breast milk bank at Soweto’s Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital – fundraising over R6m at a recent event.
The unit will have four components: an educational facility for antenatal and postnatal education, a lactation facility where mothers/donors can express in a supported environment, a milk pasteurizing plant, and a breast milk bank.
The launch event was held at The Shed at Steyn City and was attended by individuals and entities that have supported and contributed the success of Surgeons For Little Lives, an NPO dedicated to saving the lives of sick children, since its inception in May 2015.
An opening pledge from Rand Merchant Bank of R5.2m was received. The format of the evening was somewhat unusual as the guests could literally watch the new unit being ‘built’ as guests made their pledges.
This was made possible using virtual reality technology. In addition to the pledges for the building costs, an auction was held for an artwork by Stompie Selibe (Candice Bergman Gallery), jewellery from Elegance Jewellers, a Paco rug and a stay at Ivory Tree Game Lodge.
“Our event last night was a great success, and we would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone involved. Surgeons For Little Lives has become a wonderful success story, contributing positively to the healthcare of children requiring surgery in Gauteng.
This is as a result of our partners who have contributed on so many levels to make this possible,” said Professor Jerome Loveland, chairman of the board at Surgeons For Little Lives and head of paediatric surgery at the University of the Witwatersrand.
Run by paediatric surgeons, volunteers
Surgeons For Little Lives was launched in 2015 and is run by a group of paediatric surgeons and ordinary volunteers. It is focused on raising the level of care given to patients in the paediatric surgery wards of state hospitals in the Greater Gauteng area. It is solely reliant on funds raised by the organisation and donations from individuals and corporates alike to achieve this objective.
In July 2016, a project was launched at Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital to build a world-class paediatric surgery and outpatient clinic, including a sleep-over facility for caregivers. The new clinic is due to be opened in November 2017.
For more info, go to www.surgeonsforlittlelives.org.