SovTechians Mandela Day initiative at the Charlotte Maxeke Academic HospitalSubmitted by Lloyd Chikamba
7 August 2019 saw a team of 7 SovTechians departing for the Charlotte Maxeke Academic Hospital. Greeted by room of 25 smiling face and the Reach for a Dream (RFAD) representative, Natalie, we spent our afternoon interacting with patients - aged eleven to eighteen - in the RFAD Dream Room. Situated on the ninth floor of the Paediatric Ward, this Dream Room offers a safe haven for the boys and girls diagnosed with various renal and endocrinal conditions. What can be a cold, clinical environment, has been transformed into a warm, colourful section of the hospital, filled with so much joy.After handing out their packed lunches, we played with Virtual Reality headsets; allowing them the experience traveling under water, going on safari and riding various roller-coasters and fast cars.
The accompanying developers show groups of children the basics of coding and how lines of code correlate to the visual elements of everyday digital interactions. We sat with those who weren’t as mobile and chatted about their hobbies, favourite subjects at school and what they wanted to do when they’re older.As a team who spends much of our days in the office, communicating to team members and clients across the country and world through digital and tech platforms, it was an incredible experience spending quality time with such happy and resilient individuals. Not once was there a complaint; but rather constant laughter, squeaks and squeals of delight and happy chattering filled the afternoon.
Having worked closely on the Reach for a Dream internal platform, it was an amazingly rewarding experience to see just how much their efforts contribute to making positive changes in the lives of children less fortunate.After some time, the children who attend the local hospital school where escorted back to their classrooms by their teachers, but not before they happily huddled together with us for one final group photo. Thank you Charlotte Maxeke Academic Hospital and Reach for a Dream for allowing us to come and spend such a wonderfully fun and learning-filled afternoon with your children
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