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Auckland Park Johannesburg
Charity for child burn victims
The Children of Fire Trust was established in 1996 when founder and current director Bronwen Jones realized there was a desperate need for an organization that could assist young South African burn survivors. Bronwen had read an article about a six month old girl who had been burned in a shack fire and abandoned in hospital.
The socio-economic challenges of South Africa contribute greatly to the high incidence of burns among children and so the charity began to focus on education in informal settlement communities on the dangers of and ways to prevent fires.
Over the years the Children of Fire has made inroads to establishing lasting relationships with different informal settlements, allowing the charity to link these often marginalized communities with governmentas well as actively promoting tolerance of physical disfigurement through media campaigns and educational talks.
Currently the charity is setting up bases in Central Africa (DRC) and North Africa (Tunisia). It makes sense to help children close to their homes and families, but the reality is that burns are more common than most people believe and the lack of expert burns care is even more alarming. In the meantime Children of Fire continues to fly children to South Africa from Liberia, Chad, Zimbabwe, DRC, Gabon, etc. They stay as long as needed, sometimes undergoing multiple operations, receiving occupational and physio-therapy, post-trauma counselling, going to school and exploring South Africa before returning home. Some children have even been taken overseas when the treatment they needed was not available in South Africa.
A most ambitious plan is to build a hospital in Sub-Sahara dedicated to the treatment of paediatric burns. The Red Cross Children’s Hospital in Cape Town is currently the only dedicated Children’s Hospital in the region.
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