R40 million Donor Uplifts St Joseph’s Home for Children
A single donor has given R40 million to a Catholic home for chronically ill children, funding a much-needed overhaul.
The building renovations funded by the generous overseas benefactor are transforming St Joseph’s Home for Chronically Ill Children in Montana, Cape Town, and are in the final phase of completion.
The 40-million project will see modernisation of the existing five wards, establishment of a therapeutic hub, a family/visitors’ area, and upgrading of the nurses’ home and reception/admin area.
Provision has also been made for landscaping of the gardens and outside areas.
Two Years of Planning
Renovations at St Joseph’s took two years of intense planning: working with a wide range of experts defining the scope of the project, refining the design of the upgrade, and still keeping within budget.
Thea Patterson, director of the home, explained that the main intention of the project is to create a safe and happy “container” for the children, with the wellbeing of carers also being pivotal. The home cares for 140 vulnerable children.
“We were fortunate to have had excellent input,” said Ms Patterson. “We are confident these renovations will contribute considerably to the improvement of our facilities, which are nearly 50 years old.”
In 2013 the home approached CCNIA — a practice of two principal architects, being Nicola Irving, a Catholic, and Charlotte Chamberlain—and asked them to help conceptualise what modernisations might be possible. After months of planning, a proposal of R22 million was submitted and accepted.
When the home presented the proposal to the donor, it was told to add other essential upgrades, arriving at the sum of R40 million.
St Joseph’s Holistic Approach to Childcare
St Joseph’s, a registered non-profit organisation, is one of the most innovative and progressive institutions pioneering in the field of paediatric intermediate palliative care for vulnerable children.
In its in-patient facilities, the home provides a wide range of paediatric and intermediate health care, and related services.
This holistic approach includes, among others, a rehabilitation (pilot) project, a nursing school, St Joseph’s Primary School, a crèche, and logistical and pastoral support for families.
Children cared for at St Joseph’s have all been diagnosed with life-threatening or life-limiting illnesses and are referred there from state hospitals.
Prevalent illnesses include HIV/Aids, cancer, diabetes, respiratory and heart-lung-kidney failures, congenital abnormalities and neurological impairments.
The home employs around 92 staff, of whom more than 80% come from historically disadvantaged communities, many being female and single-household breadwinners.
Family members are accommodated free of charge at the home to receive the necessary support.