The Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital and The Children’s Hospital Trust welcomed newly-elected Lions Club International president Dr Jung-Yul Choi from, Busan, South Korea, last Friday November 1.
Last year R400 000 was raised for the children’s cancer project at the hospital and this included R200 000 which was awarded by the Lions Club International Foundation (LCIF) to the Lions District 410 A and a further R200 000 raised by the Lions District 410 A through help from other Lions clubs, private and commercial donors.
The Lions District 410 A are made up of Lions clubs in the Western Cape, Northern Cape and Namibia.
One of the main reasons for Dr Choi’s visit was to see the progress made at the hospital and to see where else his organisation can assist.
Dr Choi was accompanied by his wife, Seung-Bok Yang and was given a tour of the children’s hospital where he visited the burns and the oncology units.
“We came to look around your hospital facilities which serves the society and I met with the Lions leadership in the country to find out what they need to improve for their members and service projects,” he said.
Dr Choi also says they would like to continue their long relationship with the children’s hospital and The Children’s Hospital Trust.
The Children’s Hospital Trust chief executive officer, Chantel Cooper, said they believe in growing partnerships with various organisations as this enables them to help grow the hospital.
“The relationship with Lions has always been local though now we have an opportunity to expand the children’s hospital to an international audience,” she said.
The hospital’s manager of medical services, Dr Anita Parbhoo, says it is wonderful that the International Lions Club president and members of other Lions Club branches are expressing an interest in what they do at the hospital. “The Lions club is supporting childhood cancer projects, they have supported the upgrade in our oncology ward and given donations for much needed upgrades in isolation areas and they are also looking forward to an ongoing collaboration which is very exciting,” she said.
Past District governor of District 410 of the Lions Club, Clive Fox, says the most important part of Dr Choi’s visit is that he would be able to verify how they spent the money that was raised by his club and money that came from LCIF.
“He will be able to go back to international headquarters in Chicago, USA, and tell the board and LCIF that he has been here and seen what is done.”
Mr Fox is the convener of the hospital’s childhood cancer project, which was introduced last year.
“Our funding into the Childhood Cancer Unit is the first of its kind in Africa, no other Lions district has done what we have done.”
Mr Fox says that this has opened up the opportunity to move to phase two after the successful completion of phase one as they would be able to request more funding from LCIF to make further improvements to services at the Childhood Cancer Unit.