Johannesburg-Monday 20 January 2014: The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) CEO for SABC Foundation, Ms Iris Francis along with the CEO of the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital Trust appeared on Morning Live to show their appreciation to South Africans who supported the fundraising telethon. They announced that the national broadcaster has raised approximately R6m in pledges, as well as cash and SMS donations at a three-hour telethon that was hosted on Thursday, 5 December 2013 to help raise funds towards the building of the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital (NMCH).
The telethon was broadcast live on SABC 2’s news and current affairs programme, Morning Live, all 18 SABC radio stations and SABC 3’s breakfast show Expresso. The telethon also launched the SABC Foundation which has officially adopted the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital as a project.
The Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital is a unique initiative as it is being built with the support of donors from across the globe, in honour of the former President Mr. Nelson Mandela. A total of R1billion is needed to make the hospital a reality as well as train medical professionals who will work in it – and every citizen and organisation in the world is being called upon to assist.
The event brought together the South African public and corporates in a common cause to raise funds for the hospital project. Volunteers, NMCH ambassadors (Proverb, Khuli Chana, DJ Sabby, Ms Cosmo and Khan Morbee of The Parlotones), as well as various SABC on-air personalities and staff were in-studio manning the telephone lines, taking pledges and conducting various media interviews.
“I think its important to remember that this was Madiba’s dream, his final request. Madiba never asked for much for himself throughout his lifetime, he asked only for us to serve mankind and children in particular. What a privilege for us as South Africans to have lived in the Madiba era and to play a small part in honouring him by making this hospital happen. Forever remembered!, said Iris Francis, CEO : SABC Foundation.
“The need for a tertiary paediatric hospital in South Africa is greater than ever and can no longer be ignored and we would like to thank the SABC for giving us the platform to reach out to South Africans and global citizens to help raise funds for the hospital,” said Sibongile Mkhabela, CEO of the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital Trust.
Mkhabela added that while progress is being made in children’s healthcare, it was not happening quickly enough.
South Africans can help make Nelson Mandela’s dream come true by SMSing the word “Child” to 40555 (Terms, conditions and network administration costs apply, SMS cost R20) or visitingwww.