St. Joseph’s “keeps them smiling” as their inclusive play park shows that playing is for everyone

Pledge R86 for 86 years of making a difference!

St. Joseph’s Home’s unique inclusive play park for its young patients is currently in focus in the DSTV ad campaign to kick off the “Keep them smiling” summer campaign. The all-new play park that has been specially customised for children with disabilities has added a new dimension to the care and rehabilitation that vulnerable children facing life-limiting conditions receive at the 175-bed paediatric intermediate facility in their journey to recovery.

In fact, St. Joseph’s Home for Chronically Ill Children in Cape Town has been providing 24-hour specialised and general nursing care, as well as rehabilitation for children with life-threatening and life-limiting conditions for 86 years and the amount of R86 will help them continue to provide the free care to the medically fragile children.

“Although we are sometimes mistaken for an orphanage, we are a fully fledged, multidisciplinary paediatric facility,” explains Christa Robijn, St. Joseph’s Resource Development Manager, adding, “we not only provide 24-hour nursing care, but holistic care and support in the form of occupational therapy, dietetics, social work, physio, speech therapy and educational support. Our little ones may be on the road to recovery, but they are still children. Just like other children, these kids deserve all the love, care and, of course fun, we can provide”.

Online campaigns
Despite the continued challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, St. Joseph’s has had a very busy year with a lot of its fundraising activities moving online, such as the Happy Nappy Drive (June to August) and the ongoing Stellenberg Gardens Virtual Tour, which so far has raised more than R100 000 for the home and its special, young patients.

The current “Keep them smiling” summer campaign is aimed at raising funds for the home and partnering with retailers, manufacturers and suppliers of baby and children’s products. Says Christa Robijn: “With the launch of our summer campaign, we aim to raise R300 000 to help us fill the gap that comes with stocking up on summer supplies, such as baby toiletries, summer shoes and clothes, arts and craft supplies and toys, to name a few.”

She adds: “For 86 years, St. Joseph’s Home has been giving medically fragile children a second chance at childhood. Our multi-disciplinary, intermediate services are offered at no cost to our patients and their families, so we appeal to the public to help us keep doing the good work by donating R86 for 86 years of St. Joseph’s holistic care. We believe in second chances and know our supporters do too.”

Donate via:
– The St. Joseph’s Home website:
– SnapScan:
– Webtickets:

The power of playing: Seriously good fun!
The new inclusive play park at St. Joseph’s Home’s that was opened recently was designed from scratch to enable all the children at the facility to have the opportunity to explore, learn and play; but most of all, to relax, laugh and enjoy themselves outside in the fresh air.

“Play is for everyone,” says St. Joseph’s CEO, Christelle Cornelius. “It is essential to children’s development, shaping the way they interact with the world around them. It enables them to learn new skills, make friends and build self-confidence. Play also gives children opportunities to take risks and challenges. We are beyond excited and grateful to see how much our children enjoy their new playground.”

The design of the play park and its features was a collaboration between Square One architects, Afrilandscape and the clinical and therapy team at St. Joseph’s, as well as specialists in the field of inclusive equipment. Unique features are a wheelchair-friendly swing, a rope net swing for patients with limited physical abilities and play surfaces that are safe and supportive.

“We embraced our brief to provide a diverse play environment as an enticing escape from the children’s wards and adjacent school” explains Hugo van Niekerk, professional landscape architect at Square One. “Knowing the hardships the patients are faced with daily, we set out to create a playground that can be enjoyed by all children by incorporating multi-functional, universally accessible play spaces that allow children to connect with nature.”

And the proof of the pudding, as they say, is in the eating! St. Joseph’s young patients are loving their new, colourful and multifaceted playground in their own backyard.

St. Joseph’s Home for Chronically Ill Children
Located in Montana, Cape Town, and established in 1935 by the Pallottine Missionary Sisters, this beacon in paediatric care in Southern Africa has provided expert and hands-on nursing and rehabilitation for over 23 000 orphaned and vulnerable children.

Facebook: @stjosephshome

Contact information:

Content marketing manager: Melissa Ndlovu
Tel: +27 21 934 0352