Today, after getting monumentally lost trying to find this place, I met the OT who works at Bethesda, a charity hospice, inpatient unit and children’s home in George, South Africa. She took me around and introduced me to some of the staff, patients and projects before sitting me down and telling me what Bethesda needed and could offer me.
Let me first just tell you about a project they’re currently trying to complete but don’t have the funding for. No one has asked me to tell you, just so you know, but I thought it was a great idea. They can care for up to 45 children, orphans or vulnerable, and they currently house most of these children in a dormitory-style old building. Their plan is to move these children into houses with ‘parents’, up to about 10 children per house. The aim of this is to give the children a sense of belonging within a ‘family’, and it’ll mean that the children almost have their own room, only having to share one room between 2-3 children. So far, they have completed two houses. A third is almost completed, but they ran out of funds. I don’t know if anyone feels inclined to support Bethesda, but if you are, you can find out more about them here and donate here. If you’re in South Africa, they would really appreciate clothes, toiletries, etc. for their patients as well; just scroll down to the wishlist. I’m going to take some old clothes of my own for the children’s home.
Now, the plan for my volunteering?
I love babies. The more I think about it, the more I’d love to work with babies, maybe in a NICU. So I was very happy to assure the OT that I’d work with the babies in the inpatient unit. I’ve also asked to work with the OT assistant when she works with the inpatient adults, as I have no experience with people with stroke, HIV/AIDS, cancer, etc. I’d really like to have some experience with rehabilitation and palliative care. This is me being proactive!
So my first official day is Monday, and I have to again find this place by 8:30am. Google Maps was no help this morning!