The late Nelson Mandela once said, “I pay tribute to the endless heroism of youth.” These words were especially resonant at the Vega and Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital Trust Youth Celebration held on Saturday 5 December at Vega School of Brand Leadership, a brand of the Independent Institute of Education (IIE), in Randburg in commemoration of a man who believed so strongly in the power of the youth.
On a day that marked the second anniversary of Madiba’s passing, Vega and the Hospital Trust (NMCHT) decided to celebrate Madiba’s legacy by looking to the future. How better to do this than with the youth?
The event was hosted by NMCHT and Vega, alongside children from various schools and organisations, all of whom were instrumental in supporting NMCHT in various ways over the years as part of the For Kids By Kids campaign which included designing a logo for the hospital.
The hospital is the first of its kind to be built solely on the generosity of the world’s citizens: ordinary South Africans, global philanthropists, corporate institutions and even children themselves, as part of the For Kids by Kids initiative, have given donations. The hard work of NMCHT and compassion of the all the donors, both locally and abroad, have thus far raised R780 million. All efforts are focused on raising the balance required in time for the hospital’s opening at the end of 2016.
The logo was designed in 2009 by then Vega third year visual communication, copywriting and multimedia design students Deeshana Chetty, Nkgabiseng Matou, Nichola McKay Davis, Vanja Lavadinovic, and Kagiso Magoba. The project arose out of Vega’s annual Brand Challenge in which students are given the opportunity to tackle real-world briefs from external organisations as an experiential part of their studies.
The result was a beautiful logo based on the concept of Ubuntu, which includes the essential human virtues of compassion, humanity and care – an echo of the qualities that are found in close family units and the support of staff, doctors, nurses, parents and society for children in need of medical care.
More recently, early 2015, Vega students again took part in the hospital project by assisting in the planning of its interior design. The groups each pitched mascots for the hospital, based on the “family of care” principle and the winning group’s characters will be included in the hospital design.
“The celebration on Saturday was a way for the children and students to reunite in recognition of a personality that has touched the lives of so many and will continue to impact the way we think and live for many generations to come,” said Fay Amaral, MD of Vega.
“Children will be at the core of the hospital, and we are glad to see young people coming together to contribute to Madiba’s legacy, helping provide better healthcare for children from all over the region,” said Sibongile Mkhabela, CEO of the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital Trust.
Construction of the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital in Parktown, Johannesburg, began on April 22 2014. The state-of-the-art hospital will have a specialised paediatric facility that will provide the children of Southern Africa with quality medical services irrespective of their economic status.
NMCHT and Vega would also like to thank their sponsor McDonald’s Auckland Park for the generous donation of Happy Meals for the children at the celebration.