Baby Project with Brave Bag Foundation

Colours of Hope Youth Group’s very first initiative was a special one indeed!
We jumped at the opportunity to assist the Brave Bag Foundation in creating and distributing goody bags for children with cancer.

These children do not have the opportunities as we do. Their world is confined to a bed in a hospital room, braving the effects of their illness. Thus, we zealously welcomed this wonderful project.

With the assistance and generosity of our sponsors, we had packed 100 bags, each filled with a hand sanitizer, notebook, colouring book, colouring pencils, face cloth, toothbrush, toothpaste, a pack of cheese curls, biscuits and a bandanna.

In recognition of Cancer week, founder of Brave Bag Foundation, Tasneem Docrat and our team met at Charlotte Maxeke Hospital, Parktown on 16 October 2019.

The sisters from the Paediatric Oncology Departments, Sellina Sibanyoni and Operational Manager Ronel Venter, kindly showed us around the wards and related the emotional trauma these children battle.

40 to 60 children visit the hospital daily for treatment. On Fridays, however, these numbers reduce to approximately 20 children.
It is an equally difficult journey for the nurses too. They try their best to put show a brave face but suffer the emotional burden.

We met patients who wearily travelled weekly for treatment. Some leaving at 3am from their homes, to sit in long queues, waiting to be tended to… yet we drew courage from their smiling faces as they expressed immense joy when receiving their gifts.

We were honoured to hand out the care packages to these resilient children who, upon receiving them were deeply grateful and continuously thanked us.
Teary moments for our team, to witness how appreciative these children were to receive our humble gifts.

For our youth team, it was an eye opening experience to see children, as young as 8 months old, dealing with life changing challenges.

LESSON LEARNED TODAY – value health, value simple bounties, notice small miracles, be the reason someone smiles and no matter what the condition… never stop hoping and praying for the best!

‘ Cancer can take away all of my physical abilities. It cannot touch my mind , it cannot touch my heart and it cannot touch my soul ‘ – Jim Valvano

Zaheera Essy