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<!-- /*--><!--/*--> Oluthando...: Africa's first family accomodation for families of hospitalised children - RMHC

Africa's first family accomodation for families of hospitalised children - RMHC

 I spent my morning at the hard hat tour for RMHC. This is, by far, one of the most exciting initiatives I've come across. It's about time Africa had it's own family accommodation for families of kids in hospital.

 Construction is well underway for the Ronald McDonald House opening at the newly Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital in December 2016. The Ronald McDonald House, a first for Africa, will function as a ‘home-away-from-home’ for affected families so that they can stay close to their hospitalised child.

 “Helping a sick child fight their illness takes a big enough emotional toll on a family, let alone the financial strain. McDonald’s understood the need to improve the lives of children and their families during difficult times by creating The Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC). RMHC was founded more than 41 years ago in Philadelphia, USA and is currently in 63 countries and regions, however the Ronald McDonald House at the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital is a first for Africa,” says Sphiwe Reggie Skosana, RMHC SA Chairman.  

Keeping families together through a child’s illness
The Ronald McDonald Houses are built on the simple idea that nothing else should matter when a family is focused on the health of their child – not where they can afford to stay, how they can pay for transport, where they will get their next meal or where they will lay their head at night to rest. At the House, families have access to:
·       A clean, comfortable, secure environment to live in that is close to their child
·       Home-cooked meals
·       Private bedrooms
·       Playrooms for children
·       Supportive staff and volunteers who are there to listen and lend a helping hand in any way they can
Heeding the NGO’s call for help
RMHC SA is McDonald’s South Africa’s charity of choice and also its largest corporate donor, however there is a need to bridge a gap in funding and finish the House before the Hospital opens in December 2016. The target to build the House is R15-million, with R13-million raised to date by generous contributions from both corporates and individuals. “I’d like to extend a call for donors to come on board and assist us in keeping families close to their sick children,” says Skosana.
How can one donate or get involved?
You can donate using the donation boxes found in all McDonald’s restaurants or visit rmhcsouthafrica.org  to donate online.
R-Pat Thekisho, Greg Solomon, Dr Dorothy Sekhukhune, Dr Lea Chirwa, Reggie Skosana
“Volunteers are the backbone of RMHC SA and critical to our success in serving the families and children that need our support. There are many ways one can help besides donating in cash - from cleaning, making beds and cooking a meal for families staying at the House to donating foodstuffs and helping with administration work, or assisting at fundraising events, any volunteered time is appreciated,” says Skosana. Interested parties can visit rmhcsouthafrica.org, or email info@rmhcsouthafrica.org for more information on how to donate. 

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