Never again will parents bringing their children to Cape Town for cancer treatment have to sleep on the streets. The Out of Africa Children’s Foundation yesterday launched its second facility in Cape Town in four months – a children’s centre in Newlands which will accommodate six families while ensuring that their children receive the best pre- and post-operative care.
The Out of Africa Children’s Foundation is the brainchild of Kim Ferroli-Highfield, whose daughter survived cancer 15 years ago.
“When we were going through treatment we thought we were hard done by, until we started meeting other families who had to cope not only with the trauma of their sick children but also with not having decent places to stay or food to eat. When I learned that a mother who had brought her child to Cape Town for treatment was living under a bridge and was brutally raped one day on her way from hospital I knew that I had to do something.”
In September Ferroli-Highfield opened a hospice for terminally ill children and their parents, in Parow. Yesterday, she was at it again – in Newlands, in a house rented at a nominal fee from the City of Cape Town. At her side was the foundation’s new patron, Archbishop Desmond Tutu.
“She is a real powerhouse; quite extraordinary,” Archbishop Tutu said. “There are so many good people doing good things in our society, it’s just that we seldom have the opportunity to read about them.”