Project K.A.T.E.

Project K.A.T.E.

The White House ~ Northwood Children's Hospice South Africa

From the moment we opened the doors at Northwood EDU-Centre in 2010, we knew that the holistic care of referred children would include their education. This is not only a mandate of the World Health Organisation to any organisation offering ongoing care for clinically referred children, but too often, children who are sick or are diagnosed “Special Needs,” are left with little choice when their primary carers are without futures themselves or are Grandparents or families whose incomes cannot possibly consider the drain of a monthly care centre charge.

Here in the Eastern Cape we salute the families made up of sick parents, older siblings and grandparents who sacrifice so much to make the lives of their grandchildren better than their
own. However even the best intentions are thwarted when high unemployment rates and
compromised psycho-social conditions really complicate daily living – and especially so when a
child becomes ill.

It was for this reason that we formulated a project wherein an annual amount of 30 children in
the early stages of a disease prognosis and referred to us from 3 years old, would attend a daily
programme of Early Childhood Development until they were “School Ready”.

Since 2010 when this project was initiated, we can testify to a programme that has benefitted
children with the wonder of learning, a stable healthcare programme and a quality of life with chronic care that should continue into adulthood with monitored and respectful oversight.

It has been a joy and a privilege to watch many of the children become confident at Northwood whilst witnessing their characters forming and their understanding of choice and consequence become finely tuned.

For some, the capacity to learn has revealed strengths and aptitudes that should be further nourished, and it was for these children we stepped out and started the Bursary Programme.

Today as an organisation, we have enabled many children throughout the community to continue their education through to High School and University Level. Ongoing, daily oversight and interdisciplinary care is still a vital part of the programme we provide but for these children –
seeing them grow, marvelling at their achievements and watching them become responsible and strong – is a gift beyond measure.

Children with “special needs” are not forgotten and whilst we know that we cannot become educational specialists for these little ones, we have also planned a dedicated stimulation and development centre for special needs children between the ages of 6 months – 7 years within the ISIDIMA Wing of the Children’s Hospice. As an organisation we are passionate about sustaining a
quality, quantity of life, with challenges and learning achievements in line with the abilities of every child and these little ones are no different.

The strength of the Isidima Wing will be found in the blend of therapeutic care we will offer the children. EVERY CHILD A CHAMPION — We know that every milestone a child achieves helps them to grow in independence, worth and determination. We also know that children delight in
achieving goals together, learning together, challenging one another, and becoming friends….

Children need children and when the chips are down, we witness how they share a natural, honest and innocent vulnerability with one another that speaks beyond words.

It is for the children who will define and nourish these special friendships that the Isidima Wing will exist, and it will be for their families that we will strive to ensure that their joy of discoveries will become memories they can cherish.

Becoming a champion for these children is a natural progression of Chronic Oversight Palliative Care because every child deserves the opportunity to be well educated – for no other reason than because they are children.

PROJECT K.A.T.E. is the gift of education that we will endeavor to share with every child at Northwood as it will equip them for life like no other gift – and beyond that, their learning will ultimately gift them with the Courage to Try and The Wings To Fly…… No Greater Gift
for Any Child