By Natalie Lazaris, Head of Business at Reach For A Dream
Serious illness can be a lonely and isolating experience for children. The sterile and impersonal environment of a hospital ward can make them feel even more disconnected from the outside world. However, there is hope. In May, we unveiled four new Dream Rooms at the Steve Biko Paediatric Cardiology and Pulmonology Clinic in Pretoria, Nelson Mandela Academic Hospital in Mthatha, Universitas Hospital in Bloemfontein and King Edward VIII Hospital in Durban, respectively.
These rooms are equipped with everything from books and toys to electronic devices intended to provide children with a much-needed respite from the harsh reality of hospital life and just be children again. With its whimsical decor and soothing ambiance, each Dream Room has its own unique theme and design for children to immerse themselves in imagination and play.
For instance, the Dream Room at Steve Biko Paediatric Cardiology and Pulmonology Clinic in Pretoria, which was made possible through our partnership with Cell C, is themed “Connecting Dreams” and has been carefully designed to be a haven of healing for children fighting cardiac and pulmonary illnesses. The Dream Room at Nelson Mandela Academic Hospital in partnership with Airlink, on the other hand, takes children on a journey through the clouds with an aeroplane that they can sit in, while the Dream Room at Universitas Hospital in partnership with Truworths Earthchild is themed “Dreaming with Nature,” which allows children to experience elements of nature – from camping under the stars to riding in a boat on the water. In Durban, children can enjoy “Dreaming at the Beach” in the RMHC Dream Room.