Reading and healing

Left: Nalibali national reading-for-enjoyment campaign, and the Friends of the Childrens Hospital Association are working together to ensure that children, parents and caregivers at Red Cross War Memorial Childrens Hospital have books to read.

The Nal’ibali national reading-for-enjoymentcampaign, and the Friends of the Children’s Hospital Association have joined hands to
provide non-medical support to the children, parents and caregivers at Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital through the provision of reading programmes.

This partnership will ensure that each of the nine wards has a reading club and that regular individual readings will take place for children in the high care wards.

“We are honoured to bring reading-for-enjoyment to children at Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital. We also want to encourage parents to engage more with children, using books and stories,” said Nal’ibali senior communications office, Sally Mills.

“Reading-for-enjoyment can bring fun and help create good memories even when done from a hospital bed,” Ms Mills said there would be two active mobile libraries, one for parents and one for children, which would include books in English, Afrikaans and Xhosa to provide patients and parents with stimulation in a language they’re comfortable with.

“This will strengthen the existing reading programme at the hospital, through training volunteers on the programme.

“The primary objective of the Friends of the Children’s Hospital Association is to minimise the anxiety of the hospitalisation experience for patients, and to ease their adjustment. Nal’ibali is proud to be helping reach this objective through reading-for-enjoyment.

“Reading to children is one of the many ways in which volunteers are helping make a sick child smile; and it will be heart-warming to see happy faces, despite the circumstances,” said Ms Mills.