Giving back to the community is something near and dear to social worker-turned-actress Jawaahier Petersen’s heart.
When the opportunity presented itself to raise funds for the Red Cross Children’s Hospital in Cape Town, she couldn’t pass it by. So she reached out to Afrikaans soapie Suidooster, in which she plays chef Kaashifa, for help. And they leapt at the chance. Community and connection are at the heart of Suidooster’s story, after all.
Suidooster is known for its generosity and spirit of giving. Last in November in celebration for their 5th birthday, they donated R50,000 to the Children’s Hospital Trust at the Red Cross Hospital. They also produced a TV ad to encourage others to put their hands in their own pockets, and incorporated the hospital in the soapie’s storyline to help raise awareness.
Now they’ve done it again! In November, Suidooster donated R50,000 to the hospital during the Suidoosterfees drive-in theatre, and the reaction on the hospital’s representatives’ faces was priceless.
The hospital saved my life
In 2019, Jawaahier became an ambassador for the Red Cross Children’s Hospital, an establishment dear to her, as the hospital saved her life when she was only 11 years old.
“I was in a life-threatening car accident when I was 11. I had multiple injuries all over my body and was declared dead on scene, but the wonderful nurses and doctors at the Red Cross Hospital brought me back to life and nursed me back to health, and taught me how to walk again,” says Jawaahier.
“As it’s a government institution, the public sometimes forms a negative connotation with the hospital, but I can attest that the service and treatment patients get there is world class.”
Social responsibility is important
Since the COVID-19 pandemic hit the world last year, the pressures on hospitals have risen immensely and a donation like this makes things just that little bit easier.
“I salute the front-line workers,” says Jawaahier. “The long hours they work and the massive sacrifices they make at work and in their personal lives so that they can help others is amazing.”
Social responsibility is important and with Jawaahier’s help, Suidooster made this a priority. “As a social worker, I was directly involved in social causes and the community. Now as an actress, I am so glad that I can still be a part of this cause, but just on another platform, which I can use to create even more awareness and inspire change,” adds Jawaahier.
A big surprise
The R50,000 donation consists of R15,000, which is the full proceeds of the ticket sales of the Suidoosterfees, as well as contributions from Suidooster’s manufacturers and kykNET.
“I was so surprised on the day we gave the donation (Tuesday, 2 November) because I was under the impression that we would just give R15,000 but then the producers and kykNET came and made it a full R50,000,” says Jawaahier. “The reaction on the representatives’ faces was of pure joy and you could feel the relief they felt and that they know they can use this money to better the lives of their patients.”
As always, Suidooster tries to create hope and sew love wherever it goes!
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