Donations poured in from families, schools and small businesses after an appeal made by the Desmond Tutu TB Centre at Stellenbosch University.


The items were delivered at the hospital as the children celebrated Mandela Day with balloons, sweets and a visit by a magician, who donated his time for free.


‘€œIt’€™s been a good day, as it’€™s been a treat for us. We thank Madiba for this day. We’€™re here because of him,’€ Nosihle Bomela said while hugging her four-year-old daughter, Simnikiwe.


Ncedisa Sontundu, who is also a TB patient at Brooklyn Chest Hospital, visits her two-year-old daughter at the baby and toddler’€™s ward twice a day, but said Mandela Day had been particularly special.


Staff from the Desmond Tutu TB Centre, mothers, nurses and caregivers played with the children and babies in the warm sun.


‘€œI’€™ve been so touched by the willingness of people to give of their time and also to go out of their way to give us clothes and other items for the children,’€ said Anelet James, the logistics coordinator at the Desmond Tutu TB Centre.


The Centre is part of the Department of Paediatrics and Child Health in the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences at StellenboschUniversity.


The clothes will be used by the babies and children while they’€™re in hospital. Their mothers, many of whom are from impoverished areas, will also be able to take an outfit home with them when their children are discharged from hospital.


People were encouraged to extend their help beyond Mandela Day and keep the spirit of goodwill going throughout the year.


Among the donations were two cots, about R5000 worth of baby food, dolls and other toys and clothes for children from newborns to aged 13.


Many of the children at Brooklyn Chest Hospital have Multidrug-Resistant TB and have to stay there for six months or longer, so the afternoon was seen as a welcome break from the daily routine.  


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