The 27-bedroom House will provide accommodations and comfort to hundreds of families of sick children receiving specialised treatment each year
Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) South Africa launched Africa’s first Ronald McDonald House (RMH) at the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital in Parktown, Johannesburg.
“Ronald McDonald Houses provide accommodation for families with sick children to stay at little to no cost while their child is receiving critical medical care at the hospital,” said Sphiwe Reginald Skhosana, Board chairman of RMHC South Africa. “When you are trying to get the best care for your ill or badly injured child, you can find yourself away from home for weeks, or months at a time. The child so desperately needs the love and support of their families. We will provide more than a room to stay; we will provide meals, spaces for siblings to play and vital resources so parents can be actively involved in their children’s care.”
The new 27-bedroom Ronald McDonald House is located on the top floor of the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital. The House includes a kitchen, dining room, library, medication room, kids’ playroom, TV room and teenage lounge. Published research shows the House helps families cope better and focus on the needs of their sick child. They receive support from staff, volunteers and other families staying alongside them at the House.
In 2013, RMHC South Africa opened two Ronald McDonald Family Rooms at Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital in Soweto. These Family Rooms have served more than 30,000 families to date. They have reduced to zero the incidence of new-born children being abandoned by mothers unable to care for them because of a lack of shelter near the hospital.
RMHC South Africa is one of 290 local Chapters in 64 countries and regions worldwide that keeps families with sick children close to each other and the medical care they need through programs like the Ronald McDonald House and Ronald McDonald Family Room program. Over 94 percent of leading hospital partners agree that RMHC reduces stress and financial burden for families, and helps their hospitals deliver the best care possible.
Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital began construction in April 2014 and finished in June 2016, with a celebratory launch event held in December 2016. Patient intake will begin in June of this year. This brings to reality Madiba’s dream of a specialised hospital for children of Southern Africa. RMHC South Africa believed in this vision and pledged to build a special house to accommodate families of children being treated in the Hospital. Opening the Ronald McDonald House at the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital, helps fulfill the dream and purpose of the ‘World’s Greatest Leader.’
Funding for the new R15 million Ronald McDonald House was generously provided by McDonald’s South Africa (R5 million), Standard Bank (R2 million) and notable companies like Digistics. McDonald’s South Africa also committed to funding 60 percent of operational costs for the first five years.
“McDonald’s South Africa is deeply committed to the well-being of children. Our purpose goes beyond what we sell, we are using our reach to be a positive force in the communities in which we operate. Every single South African that has walked through McDonald’s doors has made this dream to provide support to children in need a reality,” said Greg Solomon, CEO, McDonald’s South Africa.
During the opening ceremony, speakers included Reggie Skhosana, Greg Solomon, Shirley Mabusela, NMCHT Trustee, Steve Ramirez, chairman of the RMHC Global Board of Trustees, and Sheila Musolino. President and CEO of RMHC Global, spoke to the importance of RMHC South Africa in helping the Charity to realize its vision of a world where all children have access to medical care and a place where families are fully supported and actively involved in their children’s care.
To learn more about RMHC South Africa and the new Ronald McDonald House program, visit www.rmhcsouthafrica.org