World Cup-winning Springbok rugby captain Siya Kolisi is leading a new team – dozens of mothers who are breastfeeding premature newborn babies at a Cape Town hospital.
This, in the wake of the devastating Covid-19 pandemic.
In an exclusive interview with News24, the Bok skipper told his story: “The Newborns Trust [at Groote Schuur Hospital] is very close to my heart, and [wife] Rachel’s heart.
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“We’ve been supporting them – just visiting the babies, and doing whatever we can to support the Newborns Trust. “… we had a premature baby as well, myself and Rachel. So we know how tough it is for parents of the kids.
“Amy (MacIver) reached out to us, to let us know what they are struggling with. Mothers are going up and down, from their homes. And obviously some of them are using public transport, to go and breastfeed their babies. We don’t know what they’re getting in contact with. She wanted masks, so they could be protected when they are around other people.”
Kolisi and his wife then activated their Kolisi Foundation, to assist.
“We want to keep the babies safe. They’re already fighting a battle. We don’t want them to have further pressure – or their mothers,” the Bok skipper explained.
The foundation donated 1 000 face-masks, and these were immediately distributed, just hours later, to the mothers at the hospital.
MacIver, who is the trust manager of the Newborns Trust, told News24 the mothers who received the masks wore them on Friday afternoon, while visiting their infant children.
She said: “The Newborns Trust is incredible grateful for the lifesaving donation made by the Kolisi Foundation. Many of our moms have nothing and it’s unlikely they would be able to afford masks. It’s critical that we take every precaution to prevent the virus from entering our unit.”