Public hospitals care for 80% of South Africa's population today. Yet, in comparison to private health care facilities, these hospitals are poorly resourced and their services completely overburdened. The situation is exacerbated by government's longstanding inability to provide all the required equipment, facilities, staff, etc in order to ensure high quality service delivery. Paediatric patients are some of the most vulnerable patient audiences anywhere in the world. Mobilizing the necessary resources to provide proper, high quality services to them is indeed our obligation as a nation. Phase I of Healing Kids initiated a pilot project in four vastly different settings, with a view to facilitating innovative ways of mobilizing resources for its beneficiaries.

Each of the beneficiaries was funded at the level of R1.5 million. Initially, the successful applicants were actively involved during an orientation process and a set-up phase, followed by the submission of resource mobilization strategies to the Foundation and upon approval thereof, formal grant agreements were entered into. Their progress was closely monitored by the Foundation, amongst others through the submission of written reports, conducting on-site evaluations and convening peer learning & sharing forums. In addition thereto, they were also supported by means of providing technical assistance.

Each beneficiary's fundraising efforts were geared at using the Fuchs Foundation grant to build their infrastructure, capacity, systems and skills in order to raise economic benefit in four categories, including:

  • cash received
  • donations-in-kind (mostly expensive medical equipment)
  • cost savings (expenses that would ordinarily have been incurred by the hospital, which they have managed to reduce - sometimes, to zero)
  • government contributions to the beneficiary's fundraising goals.

The Foundation invested R7.5 million directly in the four beneficiaries over a period of three years. Their collective value creation target for the corresponding period, as determined by the beneficiaries themselves, was an optimistic R43 million in total.

In this category, the four beneficiaries were:

The Wits Paediatric Fund represents one of our brand new start-up ventures. The fund generates resources for 3 major public hospitals in the Witwatersrand area: Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital (the largest in Africa), Rahima Moosa Mother & Child Hospital (previously known as Coronation Women & Child Hospital) and Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital. Originally, the fund set itself a fundraising target of R13 million.

The application of the targeted funds mainly related to the following two objectives:

  • Firstly, the establishment of a sustainable resource mobilization infrastructure that could assist with bridging the gap.
  • Secondly, acquiring a prioritized list of lifesaving medical equipment, which all 3 these hospitals are in dire need of.

Towards their second birthday, the WITS Paediatric Fund managed to generate value amounting to R15.7 million.

The Beds of Hope Campaign was named after its actual intention - to raise R15 million for 15 new paediatric intensive care beds at Universitas Hospital. This tertiary academic hospital is the only one of its kind in the Free State and serves an extensive paediatric population, mostly located in the central part of our country. The 15 new intensive care beds - each equipped with the required monitors and highly specialized medical equipment - were desperately needed by the hospital and these "beds of hope" would make a significant contribution to alleviating the overburdened care infrastructure for the children.

The campaign generated a staggering R24.9 million in value over the three-year period, exceeding all expectations and goals set at the beginning of the process. In addition to the 15 new intensive care beds, they were able to also acquire costly medical equipment, while some additional paediatric wards were also upgraded and renovated with the resources mobilized by the campaign.

The Boikanyo Foundation was initiated by a handful of medical specialists, paediatric cardiothoracic surgeons, businessmen and volunteers from the Round Table. Their main aim was to raise funds in order to perform lifesaving heart surgery on children in the Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital. Due to a lack of adequate facilities and particularly a shortage of intensive care unit nursing sisters who care post-operatively for these small patients, a backlogged waiting list of 300 children had built-up over the previous 12 months. These children all desperately require heart surgery, ranging from relatively simple to more complicated procedures. In order to address the situation, the surgeons volunteer their theatre services at no-charge. However, the consumables used in theatre and the services of intensive care nursing staff who care for the small patients after surgery, still need to be paid for.

The Boikanyo Foundation has managed to generate value amounting to R13.4 million during the past 3 years. Since January 2007, 56 heart operations have been successfully performed in consequence of the funds raised by their Foundation's resource mobilization unit. These operations would simply not have materialized without their fundraising achievements.

The Groote Schuur Hospital Neonatal Newborns Trust represents another new venture, which came into existence as a result of the Healing Kids funding. The Trust was launched during 2007 and aims to raise R10,5 million during the course of the following 3 years.

During the first 2 years, they have raised funds in excess of R3,2 million which is mainly being utilized for:

  • nursing training in Kangaroo Mother Care
  • acquisition of photo-therapy lights for newborns in intensive care
  • purchasing of incubators for their Neonatal Intensive Care Unit
  • refurbishment of the Kangaroo Mother Care Unit.

The Trust aims to raise sufficient resources in the future for the establishment of a totally new Neonatal Section at the Groote Schuur Hospital in Cape Town.