Raising funds for the Red Cross War Memorial Children's Hospital - Cape Town, South Africa

In 2009 my young grandson, Tristan, suffered burns to his upper body and was treated in the phenomenal Burns Unit at the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital in Cape Town. It was an extremely traumatising experience for us all and introduced us to the reality faced by so many sick children and their families who have to deal with this kind of trauma.

We are so grateful for the wonderful care and support Tristan received at the Hospital from doctors and medical staff that we decided, as a family, that it would be fitting for us to be able to give back in some way. I’ve therefore committed to climb Mount Kilimanjaro in July 2010 and will attempt to raise much needed funds for the Hospital.

100% of money I raise will be allocated directly to upgrade the Burns Unit - every cent donated to the Hospital Trust will directly benefit the Hospital.

Ultimately, the purpose of this project is to raise funds for an extremely deserving cause. I have given a personal guarantee to match the amount I must raise in sponsorships in the form of financial donations to the Trust.

I am very excited about being able to make a difference and sincerely hope you will be able to come on board with me in helping to get other sick children back home where they belong!

This is how you can get involved....


If you have a skill that you would like to 'donate' instead of money, this slot is for you.

I will create an event around what you have to offer and 100% of what people pay to attend will be donated to the hospital.

The hair spa day held in March at the Wayne.com salon at the One and Only Hotel is an example of such an event. We were able to raise R5250 on that day.


Kilimanjaro is 5895m high. You can decide to pledge a certain amount per meter that I climb. You can email your pledges to me at: ferreira@netpoint.co.za OR you can download a pledge page from the section on the right of this page and fax it to me.

If you can't pledge yourself, how about getting your company to pledge and to perhaps even challenge other companies to match or better their pledge!!


On the right hand side of the blog, near the top, there is a section that includes a direct link to the hospital's website.

Read all the directions before clicking on the link, it is important for the hospital to be able to allocate your donation correctly.

The hospital trust will issue a tax certificate for any donation over R100, so that's an extra bonus for both individuals and companies!


I am currently collecting goods to offer on an auction to be held later this year - anything that we can turn into money is welcome!

Just to give you a sample of some of the things we have at this stage: three TOP NOTCH bottles of South African wines, compliments of Janet Malherbe, and five signed copies of a book written by the adventurer and master fundraiser David Grier!

For more info on David: http://www.davidgrier.co.za/

I'd love to be able to offer nights away at wonderful places in our country, romantic dinners at special restaurants etc. So if you have any connections or have something that you can offer yourself, I'd love to hear from you!

Just to make double sure you have my contact details - here it is again: ferreira@netpoint.co.za

Tristan enjoying being a healthy, happy little boy!

my blog entries

Will try and update on a regular basis!! :)

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

My new blog

I'm delighted to say that the Red Cross Children's Hospital have reached their target and construction of the new burns unit is on track!! Thank you so much once again for joining me on this incredible journey!

As for me, my new passion, walking the Camino de Santiagio pilgrimage walk in Spain in July 2012 is slowly but surely becoming a reality - almost two years before the actual walk!

I am blogging furiously and this week my new blog was feautured on a Travel Blog site - my nano moment in the sun!

Anyway, I can't wait to put my backpack on my back and head off on my next adventure - come and join me - you'll find me at http://www.caminosantiago2012.blogspot.com/.


Saturday, October 9, 2010

Winding down...

Slowly but surely my Kili 2010 adventure is busy winding down. I am still hoping to follow up shortly with the story of the little boy I met at the hospital, I'm just awaiting the necessary permission to continue.

As for the fundraising - we'll have a total amount soon, we are still waiting for one or two companies who have committed to donate.

We've had wonderful press coverage of the project and I'd like to thank the Table Talk, the Tygerburger and the Cape Argus. Your willingness to publish the articles and appeal for help is greatly appreciated!

As for me - I've started thinking about my next big walk. This one will be for myself, I won't be raising funds as I did with the Kilimanjaro climb.

I have decided to walk the Camino Santiago in July 2012. The fact that I turn 50 that month is not a coincidence, no! I've merely timed it for then because it is a special time in my life but the true reason for walking the 780km through Spain lies much deeper.

As with the Kili climb, I certainly won't be the first, nor the last to undertake the journey. For me however, it will be the very first time and I have started the mental preparation for this incredible pilgrimage.

To join me on that adventure, almost two years before the actual walk, you are very welcome to follow the new blog that I have created as I journal about my daily 'camino'...

Already I am aware that the pilgrimage is going to change my life, a month ago I had no idea it existed and now it seems that no matter what, I have to walk all 780km!

The new blog is http://www.caminosantiago2012.blogspot.com. Join the journey - who knows, you might decide to put your boots on as well!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Visiting the Red Cross Hospital

I was invited to tour the wards of the Red Cross Children's Hospital yesterday. We visited the new wards that have just been completed, as well as the current Burns Unit - what a wonderful experience! My friend Ann went along and it felt really special to introduce her to the Burns Unit as she really has been very supportive of my fundraising efforts.

After the tour we, as 'guardians' of the hospital, were treated to a very informative presentation by some of the doctors who head up the various departments. Seeing photographs of little patients before and after  procedures and hearing about the incredible new theatres was pretty special.

There are now 8 state of the art theatres which were built at a cost of R125 000 000. These theatres are up there with the best in the world and it is wonderful to hear how doctors from abroad are comparing it with the Mayo Clinic theatres, in fact they are calling it the Mayo Plus theatres as ours have a view of Table Mountain as an added bonus!

To me it's just great that the surgeons, professors, doctors, nurses and trust staff are so accessible to everybody. It makes talking about the hospital, their work and very real needs so much easier as one has a very real insight after an event like yesterday.

I met a little boy in the Burns Unit who was electrocuted after touching a live electric wire whilst playing soccer with his friends in a little town called Carnarvon. He has lost his left arm and his entire body has been affected by this horrific incident. I was SO touched by his positive outlook on life after everything that has happened to him in the last three months, I have decided to meet with his mom and see if we can create awareness and somehow help with his recovery. He has a LONG road ahead and I'm not sure how they will cope with all the very real needs once he is discharged from hospital.

So once I have all the permission from everyone concerned, I will post his full story with photographs on the blog. Just one very real situation faced by a family who had to use this incredible hospital - it has just brought home again how important it is to source the funding needed to upgrade the unit!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Visitors from all over!!

Looking at the Live Traffic Feed at the bottom of the photographs on the righthand side of this page, I am just AMAZED at where all the visitors to this site are coming from! Russia, Canada, Italy, Germany, USA - to name just a few!!

If you are visiting from outside of South Africa - welcome! I hope that reading about this cause has really been interesting and I hope you have discovered a cause in Africa that you were unaware of.

The Red Cross Children's Hospital in Cape Town was built in the 1950's and they have treated thousands of children from all over Africa since day one. The hospital receives state funding but funds for upgrades etc. must be sourced by themselves.

To assist in this enormous task, the Children's Hospital Trust was formed about 15 years ago. Their sole task is to raise funds for the hospital and at this stage they are so efficient that every single cent donated goes directly to the hospital.

So if you are living outside of South Africa and would like to donate to a cause that benefits children from all over the African continent - this certainly is the place to visit! All the details of how to donate are on the top righthand side of this page. All donations are made directly to the hospital, it is just important to follow the instructions as adding the reference "Emilene Kili 2010" will ensure that your money is allocated correctly.

We are having problems with the comments section of the blog, so if you'd like to contact me directly you can send a message to: ferreira.emilene@gmail.com.

Thank you for visiting!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Some of Sandra's Kili pics...

My computer is SO slow this evening - I would have loved to load a host of pictures but for now the following is what I managed to download at this stage -  more to follow soon!

I will say, looking at the CD my friend Sandra sent me from Namibia brings it all back as if it happened yesterday! On the second day of the climb I remember saying to the others that the mountain should have been named 'Killermanjaro' - now I want to go back!! Thank goodness at my age one's memory seems to get rid of the bad and retain the good!! (Well that's what mine seems to be doing anyway!)

Sandra, Yolanda and I at our favourite camp - Shira Cave.

Climbing up Baranco Wall

From here on it looked almost like a moonscape..

With our young American friend Sean

One of our porters, Amissie. It is unbelievable to see what these amazing young men are able to transport up and down the mountain.

Our guide, Freddy, giving me some of his magic tea on the way up!

Sunrise on the way to the top - at this stage I was falling asleep on my feet...

Freddy and I

Spectacular view going up

Monday, September 6, 2010

Looking back...

It's been just over a month since the climb and I find myself really wishing I could do it all over again!

Climbing Kilimanjaro has been one of the hardest but most rewarding experiences I have ever had and the more I think about it, the more I realise that the experience has left me with so much that I will be able to take with me for the rest of my life.

Firstly, I have learnt that if you have the correct mindset, you can achieve almost anything you set out to do. At times when my body just wanted to give in, I was able to force myself to carry on by making certain decisions. At times I almost debated with myself - setting short term goals and promising myself that I will review the situation once I get to the next level.

I was also fortunate that the altitude sickness, that almost stopped me in my tracks, became less severe as the days went on (...and as the Diamox tablets kicked in!).

Secondly - I have made two incredible friends. The two girls who climbed with me added something really special. When you can laugh with someone until the tears run down your face, you know that you have a special connection. The three of us were able to do this every day and I think that is something money cannot buy!

I know that we'll remain friends for a very long time and yes, there are definitely more trips in the future somewhere! We celebrated Sandra's 50th on the mountain and we've decided that as mine is less than two years away now, we have to start planning on which mountain we're going to celebrate that one!

Yolanda's 50th is about 20 years away, so Sandra and I will probably only manage to summit a hill of sorts at that time, but I assure you we'll be laughing just as much as we did on Kilimanjaro!

Thirdly - reaching the summit with the knowledge that we were able to contribute in a small way to a really worthy cause is such a good feeling. I can highly recommend creating a fundraising effort around any adventure trip you ever tackle!

I've also discovered how much I love hiking and I've continued this activity - last week we hiked in Stellenbosch - what a lovely surprise it was to discover the deli at Tokara wine estate! We stopped there for a coffee after the mist became too thick on Simonsberg - I will be back!! The interior is very European - understated decor with a great view of the mountain and farm - lovely glass windows right around brings it all right to your table! (Coffee was great as well!)

I have received all Sandra's Kili photos, so will be posting some with more comments in the next few days.

The Red Cross Children's Hospital now have a facebook page as well - will post the link with the next blog post. The countdown has started to the start of construction of the new burns unit - end of October is around the corner...

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Thank you Cape Argus!

Another BIG thank you to the Cape Argus newspaper for publishing a piece on this project in today's edition of their paper. It really helps to create awareness - I'm holding thumbs that big business will pick up on the story and get involved with making the upgrade of the burns unit a reality.

Come what may - construction will start by the end of October, I'll try and post pictures of the progress as it goes along.

Thank you once again to all my wonderful friends who continue to donate and get involved - you truly are friends in a million!

I'll continue to source goods for the auction that I hope to have at the end of the year - at this stage I have three great bottles of South African wines and a weekend away at a luxury lodge in Knysna.

If you have ANYTHING that we can turn into money for the hospital, please contact me and I will add it to the list of things that will be on offer at our auction. You and/or your business will get great exposure on the blog and I will continue to forward all the updates to the local newspapers. We have had great support from the Table Talk as well - so wonderful for the businesses that are joining us in this effort.

My contact details are: ferreira@netpoint.co.za. I am also very happy to talk to groups about our experience and at the same time will provide information on the hospital. Should you wish to be taken on a tour of the Burns Unit at the hospital, that can also be arranged.

Why not join me in this worthy cause - I look forward to hearing from anyone who'd like to get involved!

Let's REALLY make a difference this year!