St Joseph’s shares in Soul Circle’s event of Creativity

A philanthropic circle of friends, founded by Celia Falkenberg, chose St Joseph’s Home as their beneficiary for their annual fundraising event. Known as Soul Circle, the evening’s theme was “Creativity Awake” while being entertained by St Joseph’s own Children’s Band.  More than 100 guests attended the event, engaged with speaker Nina Pearse, and also enjoyed special harvest platters of delicious foods, wine and desert. Various items and trees were also auctioned. The Van Stolk family donated two trees to SJH. The event was held at the Post House Wine Estate, Somerset West.

Front left: Alrika Hefers (manager SJH), Adrian van Stolk (chairman SJH Board), Thea Patterson (SJH Director) and Dayne Falkenberg (SJH Board member) represented St Joseph’s at the event.

St Joseph’s children perform in front of an appreciative audience. The band has been developed over two years by two music experts Josey and Igshaan. It is currently funded by the Ryan Foundation as part of a children’s after school project which also includes an art and movement programme.


Stellenberg Estate Garden – Open to the Public on 9th and 10th  November 2019

The Stellenberg Estate reflects historic periods of the past 300 years. This unique opportunity allows the public to stroll through and experience these breathtaking gardens. Sandy and Andrew Ovenstone’s beautiful four-acre garden is internationally acclaimed, having been featured on the BBC television series ‘Around the World in 80 Gardens’. The 18th Century manor house is said to be one of the most beautiful in the Cape Peninsula.

A special focus this year on The Walled Garden:

English designer David Hicks designed a formal garden, based on the classic idea of a Walled Garden, to celebrate the 25th wedding anniversary of Andrew and Sandy Ovenstone in 1989. Thirty years on, this iconic garden room at Stellenberg continues to honour the legacy and style of David Hicks while constantly evolving, as the garden and it surrounds matures and changes. Enclosed by a whitewashed wall, covered in heritage climbing roses, the garden is divided into two by a simple brick pathway. An asymmetrical layout of knee height clipped hedges gives the garden its architectural structure, but which allows for seasonal changes in planting style and the colours used. It is a celebration of a marriage, a celebration of good garden design and is the heart of the garden at Stellenberg.


9th and 10th November 2019 (2 days only!)

09h30 to 17h30.


Tickets available at the gate:

Adults R50, Children U/12 enter free
Garden Tea R30
(Cash and Zapper only)


Stellenberg Gardens – 30 Oak Avenue Kenilworth. Cape Town. South Africa.

Proceeds in aid of St Joseph’s Home for Chronically ill Children




Regrettably no dogs or picnic baskets allowed.

Children welcome under adult supervision.


A little girls journey of healing and recovery at St Joseph's Home

Several years ago, four year old Makanakah sustained 80% hot water burns across her tiny body. While playing with the other children at home, she fell into a bathtub of boiling water. She spent weeks in the Burns Unit at RXH receiving numerous skin grafts and transplants. Makanakah transferred to St Joseph’s in July 2015 for nursing and rehabilitation. At the time, she had developed severe contractures at her shoulder, elbows, hands, hips and knees. She also had significant scarring on her face and body. She arrived at St Joseph’s covered in bandages and afraid of any person in uniform.

While at St Joseph’s, her nursing care consisted of wound care, massaging of the skin to keep it moist and flexible, in addition to the routine care of assisting her with bathing, brushing her teeth, eating and dressing herself. She was unable to do any of these activities herself.

According to the physiotherapist who treated her, Makanakah would initially pretend she was sleeping when she was collected for therapy sessions. Stretching was painful, but essential to preserve function. She would only allow scar tissue massage and as soon as she was expected to do anything functional, she would scream and cry continuously. One day, they had a breakthrough when they incorporated the pasting of stickers on a board into therapy sessions. She loved the stickers and soon forgot that she was supposed to be sleeping! Playing with the different colour stickers was the start of her recovery.

After about a year and a half, Makanakah improved so much that she was discharged from Physio. Up until her final departure from St Joseph’s, she would still seek out therapy, even though she knew that she no longer needed it.

The Occupational Therapist reports that Makanakah was unable to dress herself, do up buttons and zips and  turn door handles, or open and close taps. She struggled to hold a spoon and needed to be fed. She could not hold a pencil  or crayon and activities such as cutting with scissors requiring the use of both hands were extremely difficult. She also struggled to socialise with other children due to her physical appearance and psychological scars.

She progressed so well that in her activities of daily living that she was able to dress herself, tie shoelaces and do up buckles! She attended school on our premises which helped her to socialise and feel accepted. Her handwriting and cutting skills improved significantly.

Her social worker counselled her mother and together with the multidisciplinary team prepared her for her child’s return home and future care needs. Support structures were put in place and school placement organised. The case was also referred to Community Health Workers for follow up after discharge to ensure her continued well-being.

After her discharge home, Makanakah continued her education at our Special Needs school on the premises where her well-being is monitored and she continues to receive occupational therapy.

Eight year old Makanakah (in the picture with  her Mom) has  transformed from a scared, tearful little child, to an assertive, lively and socially confident young girl, despite her severe burns and physical limitations.

Results are out...nearly there!

Giving is more joyous than receiving, not because it is a deprivation, but because in the act of giving lies the joy of truly knowing, that we can make a difference in this difficult world.

The internet makes giving easy, with one click of a button, children have nappies and we at St Josephs are empowered to assist with the healing process of ill and vulnerable children. In the past few weeks we have experienced the kindness and generosity of friends, staff and organisations who have chosen to act on their power to transform the lives of many children with life limiting and life threatening illnesses.

By giving, friends of St Josephs, have turned seemingly hopeless situations into stories of hope.

We are over half way to achieving our Happy Nappy Drive goals.

We strive over the next two months, to reach our goal of R200 000 by close of September 2019.

But we need that extra push of support.We are looking for volunteers to host their own Nappy Drive on our behalf. If you are part of a book club, school club or company you can inspire your friends or colleagues to get together or individually donate online and help us collect the shortfall of R66 439.

Share our drive from our Facebook page and read inspiring Happy Nappy Stories of children who have arrived at St Josephs in critical conditions and how they now live loving and fruitful lives.

What’s easy to do is also easy not to do.

So take action and go to and donate now if you haven’t yet had the chance.
Your support is what keeps us giving.

Current Donors – until July 2019

2 Military Hospital
A J MacFarlane
Advest Capital Managers
AFA (Accounting & Finance Advisory)
ATM Solutions
B Greeves
Basil Sass, E D Sauzier
Cape Cycle Systems
Cape Point
Carrie Shepherd
Christine Price
Chuks Mbegbu
Clicks Store in Edgemead
Diane Stephen
Enrico Andrews
F B Green
G A Ziervogel
J D Christian
Jean Hughes and Walking Group
Jennifer Bunsee
Lisa M Morris
Litha Mtiki
M H Sauzier
M H W Wimble
Maranda Bekker
Martie van Dyk
Mediclinic Louis Leipoldt
Melissa Duffy
Michele Sellmeijer
Mrs Erna Meyer
Mrs G J Brown
Mrs I Sacks
Mrs M Tucker
Mrs Shireen Dollie
NGK Ceramics
Noemi Rentz and Family
Patti Cleveland
Pepijn Ruijters & Dominique Garrigues
Peter Crumplin Trust
Power Transformers
R A Foster
S M Beattie
S A Hartmann
Sandra Galvez and Neena
SAPS ORS Border Policing at Cpt International Airport
Sinclair Broadhurst
Sourcing Solutions SA
St Joseph’s Staff
T C Hadebe
U G Kuschke
UCT – Centre for Innovation
Ursula Athiros

15 years on and Kiara is chosen for the U/18A hockey team.

Kiara was admitted to St Joseph’s Intermediate Paediatric Facility in 2004. She was three years old and living in the Eastern Cape. Kiara was initially sent to RXH for oncology treatment. After her condition stabilised she was referred to St Joseph’s to strengthen and heal while continuing her chemotherapy treatment at RXH.

At St Joseph’s Kiara received daily nursing care, administration of medication, checking of her vital signs and routine hygiene care. St Joseph’s transported her to and from RXH for her follow up treatment and tests.  Kiara also attended the preschool in the mornings and rested in the afternoons to assist her healing process.

She stayed at St Joseph’s Home for six months receiving holistic care which was crucial to her recovery, and was then discharged back into the care of her mother.

Kiaras full recovery and success warms our hearts and delights us knowing that we offer children a “life of possibilities.” We know that overcoming health challenges takes courage, hard work and perseverance. Receiving this fantastic news that Kiara has been selected for the girls U/18 A Eastern Province team delights us all.


“Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it.”Helen Keller




A colourful story of hope

Cynthia Lakay had TB of the spine and was a patient at St Joseph’s Hospital from 2001 to 2002.  Today she leads an independent life and continues her business administration studies. 

“St Joseph’s Home taught me to be independent and I live in my own flat. I have learnt life skills and have even learnt to speak Afrikaans. They gave me hope” says Cynthia

On 23 March 2013 she gave birth to her son, Angelo. Little did she know, that a disaster awaited her.  He son Angelo was involved in a freak accident and was admitted to Red Cross Children’s Hospital and later referred to St Joseph’s.

He was diagnosed with transverse myelitis, after minor trauma to his spine. Transverse myelitis is a condition in which a section of the spinal cord becomes inflamed. During an inflammatory response the myelin, or protective fatty coating on nerve cells, is damaged or destroyed, resulting in weakness or paralysis, pain, and sensory dysfunction. Autonomic, or involuntary activities such as breathing, digestion, heartbeat and reflexes can also be affected. Part of Angelo’s thoracic spine (middle of the spinal cord), has been affected. This has resulted in paralysis of part of his trunk and legs, slight weakness in his upper limbs and has affected his bowel and bladder function. On admission he was unable to sit without support and arrived in a buggy, which provided maximum support.

He received regular Physiotherapy and OT to address his areas of weakness. His balance while sitting improved and he progressed to a self-propelling wheelchair. During this time, he attended the St Joseph’s Special School on the premises.

“While at St Joseph’s Angelo was so special and a charismatic and charming young man who was always motivated to get better. His positive energy was contagious and is definitely his biggest asset in overcoming his physical limitations” said occupational therapist, Asgeree Dalvie.

He improved and was able to sit at a table, and engage in fine motor activities. He was then discharged and moved back to his mother’s house.



This young girl survives the fire and finds healing and love

Read a story of hope… shared on Mandela Day.

A young barely recognizable little girl arrived  at St Joseph’s Intermediate paediatric facility on 13 January 2017 after sustaining extensive burns across her body and predominantly to her arms and face.

Her name, Lee-Hansay. She had a history of cardiac defects, foetal alcohol syndrome and complex social issues. Lee-Hansay was unable to speak or eat and refused any food as a result of long-term nasogastric feeding. Her case was so extreme that she even struggled to tolerate food touching her. St Joseph’s began a joint therapy program with occupational and speech.

The turn-around began and Lee-Hansay started to tolerate certain food orally. She was also encouraged to try and eat and drink by herself. Many problems had to be overcome but even drinking liquids was problematic because when she swallowed it would go into her lungs.

Therapy continued and it took months for Lee-Hansay to be able to eat a full bowl of porridge or puree. She is a brave and courageous girl and she later insisted on eating the full ward diet of rice, meat and vegetables.  Although she continued the battle with liquids, she managed small sips of water, via a spoon and showed improvement in her swallowing coordination.

The battle to get Lee-Hansay off nasogastric tube feeding continued, and the therapists persisted with treatment. She continued therapy to encourage speech and language development and showed drastic improvement, far beyond what would be expected of a little girl who has been through so much trauma.

After months of speech therapy Lee-Hansay was able to understand what others said to her and she could follow simple instructions. She was soon able to imitate words and could use basic words spontaneously. Her favorite was to try to join the other children in the sing-alongs.

St Joseph’s worked together with Red Cross Children’s Hospital (RCCH) which is in possession of a state- of- the-art laser machine which reduces the appearance of scars. After a course of six sessions it produced quick visible results. As a beneficiary of the Phoenix Foundation, Lee- Hansay also had some laser surgery which helped flatten the scars on her face.

Lee-Hansay is a delightful child and her courage and perseverance brought hope and joy to everyone at St Joseph’s.  In just less than a year everyone said their goodbyes to Lee-Hansay.  She left in the loving arms of a single mom in George and is blossoming! That’s the two of them in the featured image,.

This story is  shared by Michaela Purchase– speech therapist at SJH. Please feel free to share on Social Media in support of the work we do.


Participate on our HappyNappyDrive and donate


Mandela Day 18 July. Are you looking for a meaningful project?


Nelson Mandela Day not only celebrates Nelson Mandela’s life, but it is a global call to action for people to recognize their ability to have a positive effect on others around them.

We invite you to and organisations around the world to get involved with us by participating in the Happy Nappy Drive to promote Mandela Day.

Who are we?

St. Joseph’s Home, in Cape Town South Africa, is the oldest pediatric hospital and has during the past 83 years nursed and rehabilitated over 20,000 children. These children are from poverty-stricken communities and have life-threatening conditions. The best holistic care is provided free of charge to more than 500 ill children every year.

#ActionAgainstPoverty, the theme of Nelson Mandela Day 2019

At St Joseph’s Home is the perfect partner for Nelson Mandela Day as most of our children come from informal settlements where clean water, electricity, sanitation and nutritious food are in short supply. Together with the parents/family/caregivers we rehabilitate children who have life threatening conditions and facilitate the child’s healing process.

Happy Nappy Drive

At St Josephs all our children wear nappies. So we use over 1000 nappies a day and have a bill of over R200 000 every year just for nappies alone. Our nappy drive is to rally up people, companies, churches, schools to help us collect nappy funds or donate actual nappies. Our Goal is to raise R80 000 and to collect 40 000 nappies from July to September 2019. Read more about the campaign on our website.

We will help you get started

Please contact us and be a driver of change. We can supply you with artwork, radio ads, video or whatever material you need to share the campaign. Organisations can increase your social impact.

Or it can be as simple as sharing our campaign on Social Media. Read more about it on our website.

At St Joseph’s we walk our talk

Every year our staff run their own nappy drive and last year they collected over 1700 nappies themselves. This year some of our exchange students have started their own crowdfunding page in the Netherlands.

We are taught that giving is important to help others, but giving is also important to help you.

Life is calling us to be more than just about ourselves.

Give nappies, Feel Great!





Alrika Hefers

St Joseph’s Home for Chronically ill Children

Tel: +27 21 934 0352









Job well done! (Netherlands Article)

(Click on image for full article)