Global healthcare company GSK's longstanding commitment to its partnership with local non-profit organisation The Just Footprints Foundation has resulted in 3662 children having benefited so far by attending camps hosted in different venues in Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal and the Western Cape. The foundation focuses on enriching the lives of children with serious health and life challenges in a fun and socially supportive outdoor experience. 1200 young adults have undergone volunteer training and have participated in these camps to mentor and support the child-campers.
Since 2016, The Just Footprints Foundation has been working with SeriousFun Children’s Network, a global community of 30 camps and programmes started by actor and philanthropist Paul Newman. These camps create and carry out transformative camp-based programmes that have a lasting impact on children, living with serious illnesses, their families and the communities in which they live.
GSK works with the Just Footprints Foundation to assist in building capacity to develop programmes and collaboration opportunities with health professionals and other NGOs focusing on the value health professionals can bring to children living with life threatening illnesses. Just Footprints Foundation hosts unique outdoor camping experiences at no cost for children with serious health and life challenges and disabilities. At ‘Camp Footprints’ opportunities are provided for children to learn new skills through intentional programming, to develop confidence and enhance their self-esteem in a secure, respectful and nurturing ‘fun’ camp environment.
As part of GSK’s three-year commitment to maternal and child health, the company is investing a total of R28m in South Africa in a range of projects to improve capacity and access to healthcare in Gauteng, Limpopo, Free State and KZN. GSK has committed to work with community partners in each of the four provinces to collaborate to improve the quality of maternal and child health services, including government and NGOs.
Just Footprints Foundation chairperson Leoné Jooste lauded the collaboration as a key milestone: “This is a great initiative which shows what can be achieved when the private sector joins hands with NGOs and we combine our strengths for the upliftment of the communities most in need across South Africa. As the Just Footprints Foundation, we are grateful to GSK for choosing to partner with us on this meaningful project which will meet the needs of children who have been marginalised by their condition and been denied normal childhood play, providing them with a camp experience that they would have had to forgo due to their challenging circumstances.”
During 2018 more children are to benefit from the GSK and Just Footprints Foundation partnership, as there are plans to expand the camp programme to the Eastern Cape and Free State in the near future.
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