ThembaCare Athlone is an 18 bed pediatric palliative care hospice. ThembaCare Athlone provides safe care for children suffering from HIV/AIDS or other life threatening diseases.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

An Announcement

ThembaCare Athlone Announcement

We started ThembaCare Athlone because there was a great need for a step down facility that provided palliative and ongoing support to children suffering with HIV/AIDS and other terminal diseases. This project has run successfully for the past twelve years and has had an incredible impact on the community and the plight of hundreds of sick children.

However, earlier this year, the provincial Department of Health (DOH) - ThembaCare Athlone’s major funder, made strategic changes to their policies resulting in a decision to consolidate their funding and services. They have decided to channel their resources and energy on larger facilities such as Sarah Fox.

These changes are significant and have led us to conclude that the need we originally set up to fulfill at ThembaCare Athlone is now being met elsewhere and that therefore our project has run its course.

At Thembalitsha we always want to ensure that we are being good stewards of our resources and that the services we providing are making an impact by fulfilling a need. We don't want to duplicate unecessarily. So, as a result, we have taken the decision to terminate the services we offer at ThembaCare and the facility is now closed.

The closure of ThembaCare Athlone in no way affects our dedication to restoring hope and transforming lives here in South Africa, a mission which we will continue to realise through our six other successful projects in the Western Cape.

We want to thank everyone – staff, volunteers and funders - who have supported, served and encouraged ThembaCare Athlone over the years and we trust you will continue to walk with us in our mission going forward.

Friday, May 30, 2014

May News

The beginning of May started off on a bitter-sweet note here at ThembaCare, Athlone. The last day of April was ended off by saying good-bye to 2 staff members who had been such an integral part of the TCA family.  

Priscilla Williams (pictured below), the administrator of TCA, the first person one would come into contact with when entering the facility and being greeted with the warmest, friendliest smile & the ‘go to’ person for everything, who was with us for almost 8 years bid us farewell to take up a new position within a primary school in the education department. This is an indication that Priscilla does her job so well & effectively and that her passion for children is visible that she was successful in receiving this position. 
We then simultaneously also bid farewell to Rudo Nzanza (pictured below), the HR manager of the Thembalitsha Foundation, who was based at ThembaCare, Athlone. A kind individual, always willing to help wherever she could and with a wonderful smile who always contributed to the joyful atmosphere of ThembaCare. She has decided to take some time off to spend with her family before venturing out into the working world again.

Although we were saddened to see these 2 wonderful individuals leave, we are also glad that we have come to know, work with and form friendships with them and thus we wish them all of the best in their future endeavors and continuous journey.
Priscilla Williams with that warm smile.
Always bright Rudo Nzanza (right) with project manager ,Nomakula Mrubata (left)

Journeys are a part of life and this entails the different paths we are on…and the journey our children at ThembaCare are currently embarking on is that of becoming healthy through medication, correct nutrition, developmental stimulation and the love & attention received by all the staff and families that are in contact with our little ones and even playing with each other!

Two of our little ones curious trying to figure who the other little individual is.

Through this month, ThembaCare has seen 5 discharges from the facility, a clear sign that these little ones road to recovery has been fruitful. 4 girls were discharged on the same day! 3 into the care of their mothers and 1 into the care of her aunt, all of whom have been very involved in the journey of their little ones regaining their health and engaging with their caregivers and just being toddlers. The other discharge was of a 2 almost turning 3 year old little boy, who was a part of TCA since the beginning of February 2013. His journey to discharge home to his mother has been both up and down with periods of being so weak that he could not even engage in play but thankfully has left the facility happy and healthy, willing and curious to play or see what is happening around him.
We also currently have 2 little ones who get to go home to their families for the weekends, in hope they will be discharged into their care soon.

Monday, April 14, 2014

April News

ThembaCare has been extremely blessed over the last month with a inundation of donations…with people not only donating physical items but that of the their time and effort which well contributes to the well-being and growth of all associated, directly or indirectly, with the facility and more importantly, our children benefiting all round.

Keeping warm in my new outfit!
As pictured left & below, part of all the wonderful items donated for our children are items of clothing and blankets. But what makes this donation of jerseys, beanies & blankets extraordinary is the fact that the individuals who knitted these items have given of their time and talent for knitting to create these items for our children, and we have to thank Mr & Mrs. Weber who donate regularly to ThembaCare and also to the ladies of the Fairmead Court CPOA (Cape Peninsula Organisation of the Aged), Rondebosch who have taken ThembaCare on as a beneficiary for their knitting group. With the cold and rainy days & the upcoming winter season, we know the little ones will be kept warm not only through wearing these items but also feel the love that was put into making them.

Two of our children keeping warm with a carer, also sporting their new winter wear.

It is wonderful to see how individuals,
couple's, groups and communities are able to come together to uplift, develop and provide for those less fortunate, and we have another group of individuals to thank for their donation to ThembaCare. Known as the GTI crew, Mr. Fabian Henderson, representing this car club, handed over a donation of wonderful goodies for the children & the facility (as pictured on the right) and this was done through each car that is a part of the club donating some baby good or money that was used to buy these items and then gathering together and heading to ThembaCare in their GTI’s to do the hand over. A flyer was even designed announcing the gathering and hand over!

Not only had they donated these items to TCA, but once again returned a few days later with buckets of paint and varnish to restore the paintwork on the vibercrete and also to varnish the wooden gate and slats that leads to the entrance of ThembaCare. We would like to thank Fabian, the GTI Crew, Skip Margetts & Kiba Rentals for what they have done for ThembaCare.  The entrance to the ThembaCare facility looks brand new and oh so welcoming! 

The team with Fabian Henderson from the GTI Crew.
Working hard to make our place beautiful.
Newly re-painted and re-varnished...looking all new again!   

This past month ThembaCare discharged two little girls, one into the care of her grandmother where she was able to reunite with her 5 other siblings and the other little girl was transferred to a longer stay children’s home, closer to her family…both girls happy and healthy!