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Making an Impact, One Kid at a Time

For Kids By Kids (FKBK) is a campaign that forms part of the fundraising efforts of the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital Trust. The campaign facilitates learners and students who want to contribute towards the building of Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital. We spoke to Siyandiswa Dokoda, the PR and communications assistant of For Kids By Kids, about the organisation’s contribution..

Please take us through your involvement with the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital Trust campaign.

The first thing I was told when joining the team is that I should throw away my job spec, as the Trust team does whatever is necessary to get the job done. In light of this, my primary responsibility is to support the communications team. This entails running For Kids By Kids, hosting media, donors and various stakeholders at the building site, coordinating activations, managing our celebrity ambassador database, drafting proposals, and ensuring that our brand is never compromised.

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What has been the most exciting part about working with young children, and raising funds for the hospital?

We have a school that has been supporting the campaign for a few years, and each grade gets a chance to run a bake sale. A proud moment for me was witnessing excitement on these girls’ faces when they visited the facility, and realising that through their dedication and hard work, the project has moved forward.

Construction of the Hospital began in 2014, and you’ve been part of it since last year June. What have been some of your highlights?

I remember sitting in traffic on my way to work in my second week, and I just burst into tears. This is because the reality of working on this project had suddenly hit me. At that moment I knew I was in the right place. Secondly, working with a small but effective team has been great for me, because it challenged me to always give my best. I can’t hide behind someone. Lastly, just meeting influential people from across the globe has been quite a treat.

With four months left until the opening of the Hospital, what are you looking forward to seeing?

I am quite keen to see the impact that our hospital will make in alleviating pressure from existing facilities. I am also looking forward to the positive stories that will come out of the hospital.

Take us through the journey of the project: What has been a learning curve, and how has that impacted your career or the organisation?

The biggest learning point for me was realising that any dream can become a reality. This has been a great story of philanthropy in South Africa. Even during trying times, the country was able to come together to provide for the children of the SADC region.

Would you like to share any upcoming events with the public? How can one get involved?

We always ask the public to come up with their own innovative ideas to help us raise funds. The easiest way to give to the Hospital is through our SMS line. You just need to type the word “Gift”and send it to 40301.