News Release

Senior Couples Give Service at KwaZulu Natal Children's Hospital Restoration

On the 15th July 2010, the KZN MEC for Health, Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo launched a landmark project to restore and relaunch the KwaZulu-Natal Children’s Hospital [formerly the Addington Children’s Hospital] on Durban’s beachfront. This hospital originally opened in 1931 and was the first children’s hospital on the African continent. It was closed down during the apartheid era because it served children of all races.

Full-time Senior Missionary Couples of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons) serving in the South Africa Durban Mission gathered for their annual Couples Conference on 30 March 2013.  As part of the conference, President James C. Von Stetten, President of the Mission, asked the couples to give service at the Hospital by painting the badly weathered temporary fence surrounding the renovation.  The fence will stand until the project of restoration is complete, approximately two more years.  

There are 15 missionary couples that volunteer to live and serve in the Durban Mission for eighteen to twenty-three months. Their age (ranging from 53 to 80) does not slow them down as they share joy in giving their time and energy to a good cause.  Service is an important part of their religion as they worship Jesus Christ who was the greatest example of service.  All of these couples come from the United States and Canada.  

The vision for the project is to restore the Children’s Hospital and also create a provincial ‘first’ Health Precinct as part of a proposed inner city regeneration project that will address adult and child health and welfare issues. 

The project will address these needs by restoring and redeveloping this site in line with the needs of today’s infants, children and adolescents.  It will cater for the needs of children and their care givers, including: HIV-affected children, children with mental health challenges, children who need special rehabilitative care and services, and children with nutritional challenges.

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