#passionprojects: Asanda visits The Friends of the Children's Hospital Association

At The Friday Street Club, we allow each staff member to dedicate 3-5 working days a year of either their own time or company resources to a charity, cause or initiative that is close to their hearts - these are our #passionprojects. It's a chance for us to be able to use our expertise, experiences and contacts to make a tangible difference within the communities within which we operate. This month, Asanda went to visit The Friends of the Children's Hospital Association. Here is her story:

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Each year, every member of The Friday Street Club team is given the opportunity to dedicate work time and resources to a cause that is close to their hearts. This year, I chose The Friends of the Children’s Hospital (FOCHA) as my ‘passion project’. FOCHA is an NGO based in the Red Cross Children’s Hospital that provides patients and their parents with non-medical assistance. This includes the provision of necessities like toiletries, clothes, food and toys to make a child’s stay in hospital a little more comfortable. I chose FOCHA not only because they do amazing work, providing much needed relief during stressful circumstances, but also because I interned for the organisation about four years ago while I was still a student. I felt the need to return and see how I could help as a qualified PR.
 
I thoroughly enjoyed my time there and it was great to go back to a place where I felt like I was making a difference in someone else’s life. During my visit, I was given the responsibility of accompanying the volunteers around the children’s wards as they handed out gifts and spent time playing with the kids. It was extremely heart-warming to see the delight on their faces when a volunteer comes to spend time with them.
 
Later in the day, I had the privilege of being an MC for the Mother’s Day lunch, during which mothers were given a much-needed break from their children’s bedside to enjoy a little time to themselves. The lunch was a great success, not only because I was the MC (haha), but also because the mothers really appreciated having a little ‘me’ time. This was a great opportunity to put my PR skills to good use by ensuring that the event was a success. Apart from being the MC, I managed the event’s volunteers and ensured that everyone knew what needed to be done. I also co-managed the setting up of the room and ensured that the team finished everything on time. When the mothers arrived, I was tasked with giving them a warm welcome and making sure that everyone was well looked after and comfortable.
 
After the lunch, once I had finished with washing-up duties, I concluded the day by doing some basic admin work with the volunteer manager. It was a long, but extremely rewarding, day and I am looking forward to my next visit, where I will be putting my PR skills to good use again by helping out with their social media, events and other essential admin.
 
If you would like to find out more about FOCHA, or how you can help out on this most worthy of causes, visit their

- Asanda Mcontsi

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