MySchool 21st Anniversary

I’m terrified of hospitals. I can literally count the amount of times that I have visited a sickly friend or family member on one hand. I’m not too sure where the trauma comes from but it’s stuck with me for as long as I’ve known.

When MySchool notified me about their 21st Birthday celebration and asked me to help give back, I chose to face my fears a select a beneficiary that’s based at a hospital. Originally, an innovative school fundraising concept, the MySchool programme has evolved over the past 21 years so that cardholders today also support other causes that are close to their hearts. MyVillage beneficiaries are a wide range of human development and care charities; while MyPlanet refers to those beneficiary organisations whose work involves animal welfare, conservation and environmental causes. Each card holder can nominate up to three beneficiaries, and donations are made by participating retailers on their behalf, and at no cost to them. I chose to nominate Surgeons for Little Lives as my sole beneficiary.

Situated at the huge Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital campus, Surgeons for Little Lives is a local non-profit organization focused on saving the lives of sick children that has a world-class pediatric surgery outpatient clinic, an addition to the pediatric Surgery Ward at Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital. The hospital’s existing pediatric surgery clinic currently draws people from across sub-Saharan Africa for its world-class care, however the facility required essential improvement to serve the catchment area of 10 million people. In line with global healthcare company GlaxoSmithKline’s (GSK’s) focus on mother and child health, the global healthcare company has committed to helping South African families gain access to better healthcare services through the new pediatric surgery clinic.

Last week I paid them a visit to find out more about the organisation and meet the great people behind this amazing NGO. I was blown away by how swiftly everything worked in the clinic, the cleanliness of the ward, and the dedication that each staff member and organisation member have put into ensuring that each child is well taken care of.

Here’s a list of highlights that I took away from my visit at Surgeons for Little Lives:

Admission & Discharge Packs: each containing toothbrush and toothpaste, brush, facecloth, lotion, soap and pyjamas; and a set of clothes to wear home, a toy, colouring in book, stationery and a snack.

Expressive Arts: a programme that uses drama as a vehicle to teach and rehabilitate burn patients.

Parental Sleep-over Facility: a unique overnight facility with 12 double rooms, laundry and living area for parents to use while their children are in surgery. This facility eliminates stress and unhappiness at an already tense time. I actually got to chat to a mom who was staying at the facility and she expressed how being able to sleep over has helped her save on transport money as she would have to travel back and forth while her child was in recovery.

Next on the agenda for Surgeons for Little Lives is the building of the Lactation Unit & Breastmilk Bank in conjunction with the South African Breastmilk Reserve and once again Mediclinic have partnered with SfLLS. The facility is intended to provide vital pre- and post-natal care to mothers and newborns, and will offer a safe, supportive environment to promote and facilitate breastfeeding as the healthiest choice for babies.

In celebration of its 21st anniversary, MySchool MyVillage MyPlanet has launched the ‘21 years of Giving Back’ campaign with R2.1 million to give away to 21 causes. I encourage you, my readers to support and nominate my beneficiary, Surgeons for Little Lives, to be selected as one of the 21 organisations that will stand a chance to receive R100 000. On May, 21 winning beneficiary organisations will be chosen from the list of nominations to each , and the supporters who nominated them will each receive a R1 000 Woolies Giftcard. You have until the end of February 2019. The 21 Years of Giving Back campaign is open to MySchool MyVillage MyPlanet supporters throughout the country. For many schools, charities and conservation organisations, MySchool MyVillage MyPlanet has become a sustainable and meaningful source of funds. If you are not yet a card holder, you can sign up for free at or download the MySchool MyVillage MyPlanet App, nominate the cause that matters to you, and be part of the active citizenship our country needs.

To Nominate MY favourite beneficiary, follow these three easy steps:

  1. To nominate, you must be a MySchool cardholder or linked Woolworths cardholder.
  2. Nominate a cause (click here).
  3. Use the info found on this blog post and (please) nominate my organisation Surgeons for Little Lives

I can’t wait to get more involved with assisting Surgeons for Little Lives and organisations like it this year.