Cell C and Reach For A Dream Unveil A Dream Room at Steve Biko Paediatric Cardiology and Pulmonology Clinic, Bringing Joy For Child Patients
Pretoria, South Africa – 24 May 2023: Cell C and Reach For A Dream Foundation today unveiled a new Dream Room at the Steve Biko Paediatric Cardiology and Pulmonology Clinic, designed to transform the treatment experience of seriously ill children in Pretoria.
Equipped with a range of books, games, toys and electronic devices, including state-of-the-art Virtual Reality stations, the Dream Room will provide a much-needed respite from the sterile and impersonal surroundings of a hospital ward.
With its whimsical decor and soothing ambiance, the Dream Room has been designed as a safe space for children to immerse themselves in imagination and play, which is integral to their physical, emotional, and mental well-being. A resident Psychology graduate will also run a variety of fun and educational activities, ensuring that their developmental milestones are met.
Natalie Lazaris, Head of Business at The Reach for a Dream Foundation, says: “We know that hospital visits can be stressful and overwhelming for children and families, especially when they are facing serious health challenges. This Dream Room has been carefully designed to be a haven of healing where children who are fighting cardiac and pulmonary illnesses can escape the pain and isolation of their treatments, and just be kids again. We hope it will have a positive impact on their overall well-being and recovery.”
Reach For A Dream was established in 1988 with the core mission of giving hope to children fighting life-threatening illnesses through the fulfilment of their dreams.
From left: Prof J Joshi (Paediatric Cardiologist, Steve Biko Academic Hospital), Ms. L Hlatshwayo (Executive Head: Corporate Affairs and Communications, Cell C), Prof BJ Mitchell (Head of Paediatric Cardiology Unit, Steve Biko Academic Hospital), Dr K Rangaka (Steve Biko Academic Hospital), Dr J Thomas (Steve Biko Academic Hospital), Prof I Smuts (Head of Paediatrics, Steve Biko Academic Hospital), Prof P Soma-Pillay (Chairperson of the School of Medicine, University of Pretoria), and Mr J Moela (Government Relations, Cell C)
From left: Mrs. J Sotirianakos (CEO, Reach For A Dream), Ms. N Nkomo-Ralehoko (MEC, Gauteng Health), and Ms. N Lazaris (Head of Business, Reach For A Dream)
“When we fulfil dreams, we aim to take children out of the hospital into a new environment with their families. But for those who rely heavily on constant treatment and observation, it’s impossible to step out of the hospital, which is why the Dream Room concept is so important,” Lazaris says.
The Dream Room was made possible through a generous donation from Cell C, which contributed funds to help design, construct, and equip the space with the latest sensory technology.
“We are thrilled to have partnered with The Reach For A Dream Foundation to do what we can to spread some happiness with the refurbishment of the Steve Biko Paediatric Cardiology and Pulmonology Clinic. Seeing the smiles of the children and staff make the work of Cell C Kindness truly worthwhile,” says Lethiwe Hlatshwayo, Executive Head: Corporate Affairs and Communications at Cell C.
To date, The Foundation has successfully opened 36 Dream Rooms in various hospitals across the country, with plans to build an additional 10 rooms by 2024.