Motivation Mondays: Brooklyn Chest TB Hospital
On Wednesday 21 March, we celebrate Human Rights Day in South Africa. The day is set out to commemorate those who died during the struggle and those who had their Human Rights violated by the Apartheid regime. I thought it appropriate to start with Brooklyn Chest hospital, as the changes that has been made to the hospital had been so starkling and really hit the core of the Service-Learning Programme's focus of children and education in South Africa.
The Brooklyn Chest Hospital is the only facility that treats XDR TB patients in the Western Cape. It is a 349 hospital beds and consists of 56 paediatric beds which are usually filled to capacity with over 60% of these patients being HIV positive. Children treated at Brooklyn Chest Hospital can stay there from 6 months to 3 years and are not able to attend normal school. The school educates approximately 40 pupils on any given day.
When our Service-Learners started at Brooklyn Chest about 3 years ago, we worked with a teacher who taught all school-going aged children at the hospital school. The hospital school consisted of one classroom and one teacher that taught a class, with differing levels of capacities. The children in her one classroom school, ranged from Grade R all the way to Grade 7, sometimes Grade 8. You can imagine her task at hand.
Last year in October, the S.A.M.E Foundation hosted the official opening of the new Brooklyn Hospital School and this year our new Service-Learners assists in the school, where there now have 3 teachers and seperate classrooms for the seperate levels. The total cost for the project came to R1 125 000, donated funds. See for yourself the changes that have been employed!
The entrance to the new and improved school!
The first Classroom
The Third Classroom
The Computer Lab
And off course a designated play area for the little ones.
In section 28 (2) of the Constitution of South Africa, it is quoted that "a child's best interests are of paramount importance in every matter concerning the child". What has happened here at the hospital is really so inspiring and also comforting, knowing that the rights of the children to quality education is acknowledged, even though they are admitted to a TB hospital! I hope this piece motivated you as much as it did me! Stay tuned to find out the wonderful projects that the Service-Learning students will be doing throughout their semester here in Cape Town!