St Joseph’s honours and celebrates its staff: Meeting challenges of COVID 19 in caring for its vulnerable patients.

Today St Joseph’s Home for Chronically Ill Children celebrates and honors its more than 130 staff who are all committed to making a difference since the COVID 19 lockdown started. While our gates are closed for visitors, donors, and friends, our hearts remain open and we believe we have been called to serve, protect and care for the patients in our wards.  Thank you to all our clinical, operational, admin and resource development staff!

Every April 7, the World Health Organization chooses to highlight a special theme current in the wellness and medical world. Ranging from mental health to insurance and everything in between, this day sets the tone for what’s to come in the world stage. This year’s World Health Day will shine a light on nurses and midwives, the on-the-call, restless workforce that revolutionized the healthcare industry as we know it today.

World Health Day, was created in December 1945, when officials of Brazil and China proposed the creation of an international health organization, that is all-encompassing and absolutely independent from any government powers.

Half a year later, in New York, in July 1946, the constitution of the World Health Organization was approved. Said constitution entered into force on April 7, 1948, as 61 countries signed in agreement for the inception of the NGO.

As one of the first official acts of WHO, they created the celebration of World Health Day. It was first observed on July 22, 1949, but the date was later changed to April 7, the establishment of WHO, to encourage student participation.

Since 1950, the Worth Health Day uses a different theme and theme each year selected by the current WHO Director-General, based on the suggestions of the member governments and staff.
World Health Day provides a global opportunity to focus attention on important public health issues that affect the international community. On the occasion of World Health Day, promotional programs are launched that continue for a long time after April 7.

World Health Day 2020 will shine a light on the vital role played by nurses and midwives in providing health care around the world, where advocacy events will be held around the world, including the launch of the first-ever State of the World’s Nursing Report, which will provide planning to optimize the contributions of the nursery workforce, with a similar report on the Midwifery workforce to be done in 2021.

Source: World Health Day


Nurses Day 2019 (Below)

Pallottine Order pays tribute to Sister Anne-Marie

1st of February 2020 is a day that the Pallottine Family and people of Cape Town, South Africa will always remember. It was a day when many people of different faiths, races and professions, gathered in St. Vincent Pallotti Convent to say goodbye to their dear Sister Annemarie Niehsen, a German Missionary, who after her 52 years of life and service in South Africa returned to her homeland. They came to express their gratitude, friendship and appreciation for her tireless service in the hospital as a sister for all, for her fidelity to the Lord and love for our Founder St. Vincent Pallotti through living her religious vows, ministry and her dedication in building a better world and future.

Archbishop Stephen Brislin, the Auxiliary Bishop Sylvester David, Pallottine and Diocesan Priests celebrated together with the assembly a thanksgiving Mass for Sr. Annemarie’s intentions. In his introduction, Archbishop Stephen expressed words of gratitude toward Sr. Annemarie and recalled a few stories from his encounters with her and the people. He said: she had a great love and compassion for all the people, especially those in the hospital, whom she served.  She was gentle, smiling, always available, always at their service. Bishop Sylvester David, in his homily, recalling the saint of the day St. Benedict Daswa, 1st South African Catholic saint and martyr, said that the life of religious and missionaries is often the life of martyrdom. Such moments of life in South Africa also were experienced by our Sister Annemarie. Concluding he said to Sr. Annemarie – there are some beautiful flowers that bloom only in the night and you are one of them…

Sr. Annemarie’s life was a continuous conquering and discovery of what is valuable in life, what is good, beautiful, true and eternal.  Perfectly she sensed the human and spiritual needs of the people and had the gift of listening to everyone. She has a wonderful talent of communication with others, at any time and in any place – in the church, in the shop, on the street – but the hospital was the place where she dedicated most of her time and gave her whole heart.

With her love of God, her love for people, with her missionary spirit, joy and simplicity, she changed the flow of life for many – to a beautiful journey, bringing them the light of hope and blessing.  Here, in South Africa, she created a long history that will never be forgotten…

“I know” – said Sr. Izabela Świerad, Superior General of the Pallottine Missionary Sisters to all gathered at the celebration – “that Sr. Annemarie will never be separated from this mission, from this country, from its nature, from her sisters and brothers. She will carry her Africa with her wherever she will go. She will take the sun, the water, the warmth, the wind, and sand, the beauty of the proteas, the smile of children and tears of people, especially those who suffered. I know that she will not only miss those she loved, but she will miss herself as the person she was at this time and in this place, because she will never be this way again. The experience of these years and the memories she has made will be in her heart forever.”

Thank you, Sr. Annemarie. Having lived this way, may you one day hear the words of Jesus: “Well done, good and faithful servant! Come and share your master’s happiness!” (Mathew 25:23).

Let us give praise and thanks to our good and gracious God for the blessings that Sr. Annemarie received during all these years. Let us give thanks for the gift of the life and vocation of the many Pallottine Sisters, Brothers and Priests who worked in South Africa.

The Pallottine Missionary Sisters began their mission in South Africa in 1923, when the Pallottine Bishop and Apostolic Vicar of South Africa, Francis Hennemann invited our Sisters to come to his mission territory of Oudtshoorn. Sr. Annemarie, a young nurse, shortly after her final vows in 1968, at the age of 30 was sent to South Africa for her missionary service.  From the beginning Sister was involved as a nurse in the hospital of Pinelands, Cape Town, first called St. Joseph’s Sanatorium, which afterwards was transformed to St. Vincent Pallotti Hospital. There Sr. Annemarie served to the last day of her stay in South Africa.

Today there are two small communities of the Pallottine Missionary Sisters in South Africa: Sisters from South Africa, Germany, India, and Tanzania who desire to continue the mission of Christ marked by the life and service of our Sisters there. 108 German Pallottine Sisters and 1 South African died on South African soil.  Our Sisters today live with gratitude in the heart for the past and in hope that soon more Sisters will join from other provinces to strengthen this mission.

Article – Pallottine Website

St Joseph’s Home wishes you well, Sister Annemarie!

Going back after 52 years!

St Joseph’s Home said goodbye to Sister Annemarie, Provincial Superior of the Pallottine Missionary Sisters, at the end of January prior to her return to Germany in February. She was so much appreciated and loved by all at SJH and played an active part being a board member and representing SJH at a number of fundraising meetings and events.

Sister Izabela SAC from Rome said that Sister Annemarie was due to leave in 2010, but she stayed on, and referred to her as the “Hero of the Day”.

“We started building the house (St Joseph’s) and knew that the foundation was already there. The support during those times came from late Archbishop Henry and Archbishop Brislin, while I thank Thea Patterson (director) -soon to retire- for her 18 years of service. We are all here together today and feel part of this special family. History will show your work,” she said.     

After entering the Convent: Kloster Marienborn in Limburg an der Lahn in Germany (Pallottine Missionaries) in 1958, Sister Annemarie enrolled for her Nursing Studies (1963) in Erlenbach am Main for her Professional Nursing Diploma.

In 1968 she was sent to the South African Mission in Cape Town to help the Sisters to start the new extension of St. Joseph’s Sanatorium, now Vincent Pallotti Hospital. Her responsibilities included planning and managing the operating theatres. In order to improve her English and to implement my theatre knowledge, she enrolled for a postgraduate training diploma in Operating Theatre Technique at Groote Schuur Hospital.

During her later years she started a district practice, treating and visiting patients in their homes after they had been discharged from the Vincent Pallotti Hospital.  After retirement, she continued her calling, giving pastoral support to patients at the hospital.

She will now be returning to Germany after a service of 52 years in South Africa.

“I wish you as many blessings from the Lord as you can handle,” Sister Annemarie concluded.


Saying goodbye to her: Chirstelle Cornelius (incoming SJH CEO), Sister Annemarie SAC, Thea Patterson (SJH Director), Adrian van Stolk (Chairman), and from Rome, Sister Izabela SAC.


Christelle Cornelius welcomed to St Joseph’s

The SJH director, Thea Patterson (left) welcomed Christelle Cornelius (right) to St Joseph’s. She will be taking over as new CEO when Thea retires at the end of March

Western Cape Government Health Delegation Visits !

Senior officials from Western Cape Government Health recently paid St Joseph’s Home for Chronic Ill Children an on-site visit. The delegation was headed up by Dr Keith Cloete (Chief Operating Officer), the Chief Director (Dr Giovanni Perez), directors of the four substructures and hospital managers.   The delegation and St Joseph’s management team, shared experiences and common practice challenges. Discussions also included long term planning, the role of the private sector, multi-sectorial clusters and the development of a paediatric intermediate policy for the province.

Nappy Drive: Thank You to all our Donors (Donor List insert)

Nappy Donations received from 1 June to 22 November 2019

Anonymous Donors, 2 Military Hospital, V Adriaanse, Advest Capital Managers, AFA (Accounting & Finance Advisory), Enrico Andrews, Ursula Athiros, ATM Solutions, S M Beattie, M Bekker, Bootielicious (Annamarie Visagie & friends), K Bouma & M Wabben, S Broadhurst, Mrs G J Brown, Mrs J Bunsee, J Butler, Z Berrisford and A Macdonald from Micklefield School, Cape Cycle Systems, Cape Point, Catholic Women’s League Tableview, Mr & Mrs Carelse, Church of the Resurrection in Bonteheuwel, Z M Cohen, Connect 123, J M Cornell, Corpus Christi Catholic Church in Wynberg, J D Christian, P  Cleveland, Clicks Store in Edgemead, Clothing Bank, Constantia Bowling Club, Mrs S Dollie, G Duffy, M Duffy, Durbanville Catholic Church’s Fellowship of Our Lady, Dr W Erickson-Pereira, G K Everingham, FIA Peninsula Branch, Finserv, N Fisher, R A Foster, Friends of the Pallotti Sisters, Sandra Galvez and Neena, F Gool, F B Greene, B Greeves, Mrs S Grobler, T C Hadebe, S A Hartmann, Nicola Holbak; J Hughes and Walking Group, Tharuki Iddamalgodage & Emma Vargo, Incy Wincy College, C James, S Josephs Family and Friends, U G Kuschke, LED Tours, Lions Club in Paarl, D R Lyons, A J MacFarlane, M F Manwaring, J Martin, M Martin, Chuks Mbegbu, Mediclinic Louis Leipoldt, Mrs E  Meyer, Metrofile Movement for Good, A J M Moolenschot, L M Morris, J Moses, Mothers that Care, L Mfiki, A Murray, National Pride, NGK Ceramics, NGK La Rochelle, Northlink College Protea Campus Staff, J Parkin, Dr L Parolis, Pasco, Pep Stores, Peter Crumplin Trust, Power Transformers, C Price, Propell Sectional Title, A Prudence, C Redcliffe, Noemi Rentz and Family, A Roberts, Colleagues, Friends & Family, B Retief, Rocket Films, Pepijn Ruijters & Dominique Garrigues, Mrs I Sacks, SAPS ORS Border Policing at Cpt International Airport, Basil Sass, E D Sauzier, M H Sauzier, A Schreider, M Sellmeijer, C Shepherd, Settlers High School, Shoprite Charlesville Mall, Sourcing Solutions SA, Spar Western Cape, St Anne’s Primary School (Service Club), St Margaret’s Church in Parow, St Michael’s Catholic Church and the Life Teen Group, St Joseph’s Staff, Diane Stephen, M Strybis, TFG Design Centre, F Tribull, Mrs M Tucker, UCT – Centre for Innovation in Learning & Teaching, M van der Poll, Martie van Dyk, Bianca Williams, M H W Wimble, Woodside Retirement Village Tenants, A Zalgaonker, G A Ziervogel

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)

Anglican Women's Fellowship Award

Every two years the different Anglican Women’s Fellowship (AWF) branches of the particular diocese (Diocese of Saldanha Bay) present their chosen charity which they are involved with. The Dr Pat Gorvalla award is awarded for the best diocesan project. This year AWF of St. Margaret’s Parow won the award. The project presented was St Joseph’s Home and St Joseph’s Special School. This was driven by Ronell Petersen, who is SJH’s internal PR and volunteer/intern coordinator in our Resource Development Department.


“Our department is so proud of Ronell. She took the St Joseph’s cause to external communities and mobilised her AWF branch to support SJH. Thank you!” Alrika Hefers, Manager Resource Development, said.

St Joseph’s Home for Chronically Ill Children felt honoured to receive a delegation from CAF America and CAF Southern Africa recently. The Home is registered with them as a cause and has established a donor partnership with them. From left: Alrika Hefers, manager resource development at SJH, Emily Pingleton (CAF America) and Gill Bates (CEO CAF Southern Africa). They toured the Home and were able to experience first-hand how their funding has been utilised. They also met with the director, Thea Patterson and board member Sister Annemarie Niehsen SAC.