While the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital in Cape Town is a government facility, in 1994 the Children’s Hospital Trust was formed with its primary objective being to raise funds for building upgrades and expansions, new equipment and staff training. This was to ensure that the children of Africa continue to receive the highest levels of care; something the hospital has a proud history of providing.
Engen, a leading producer and marketer of fuels, lubricants and oil-based products, has supported the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital for the past 12 years. Engen General Manager: Corporate Affairs, Tasneem Sulaiman-Bray says the company’s relationship with the hospital dates back to 2004, with R6.76 million contributed to the Trust since then.
“We first sponsored an art competition for the young patients and their artwork was used in our Engen corporate calendar and diary series. All the participants received certificates and gift bags, and a donation of educational equipment and cash was also made. In the same year, Engen collaborated with our holding company PETRONAS on the ‘Trek through Africa’ expedition, which raised R500 000 towards upgrading the playpark area at the front of the hospital,” says Sulaiman-Bray.
Engen’s Corporate Social Investment Manager, Mntu Nduvane says that from the outset, Engen took the Children’s’ Hospital Trust to heart.
“In 2005 we sponsored a telethon at Canal Walk which raised funds to purchase incubators for the hospital. Engen also sponsored the outside radio broadcast and our employees volunteered to man telephones over a weekend. The telethon raised R185 000.”
Between 2006 and 2010, Engen donated R4 000 000 to the Trust to support a wider fundraising campaign to build new surgical theatres. During 2007-08 Engen, in collaboration with Good Hope FM, sponsored the annual ToyToy campaign and all of the toys, which were also collected at Engen Service stations, were in aid of the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital. In 2008 Engen also donated R35 000 towards a Christmas party for the Burns Unit patients and staff.
“Part of our social investment strategy is to focus on issues that are integral and aligned to our business, which is why safety is a key issue for Engen, and in particular Paraffin Safety. Being the paraffin market leader in South Africa, Engen felt an ethical responsibility to respond positively to the Trust’s fundraising call to action to support their Burns Unit. Over the past three years, Engen has continued to support the Trust with annual donations of R150 000 for Burns Rehabilitation therapy work,” says Sulaiman-Bray.
Chantel Coetzee, head of fundraising for the Children’s Hospital Trust says Engen has been one of a handful of donors who have supported the hospital for many years. “An average of 250 000 children receive care at the hospital on an annual basis and Engen has had a direct impact on ensuring children receive high levels of service in an environment that is comfortable and child-friendly, ensuring staff have the required skills and equipment so that children across the continent receive the best possible specialist medical care.”
Coetzee believes that Engen is a true friend of the hospital. “Engen is passionate about the support they lend us. They are always looking for ways to assist the Hospital. We sincerely appreciate the support we have received from Engen – it continues to be most valuable.”
Twenty-two years since inception, the Children’s Hospital Trust is hard at work fundraising for a R100 million-plus upgrade and expansion of the paediatric ICU at the Hospital. And Engen will proudly continue to support their efforts where possible to ensure that the highest levels of medical care are available to the children of Africa.