Carte Blanche, produced by Combined Artistic Productions, launched the Carte Blanche Making a Difference Trust (IT 3593/2008) to commemorate 20 years on air in August 2008.
George Mazarakis, Carte Blanche’s Executive Producer, set the goal of raising R20-million, a million for every year on air, to support State paediatric units across the country. To date, through the generosity of corporate donors and viewers, we have more than quadrupled that target.
In 2010, George (Trustee) and Karolina Andropoulos (patron) were awarded the Support of Philanthropy in the Media Inyathelo Philanthropy Award for their work in equipping paediatric units in hospitals with life-saving equipment and mobilising corporate and private South Africa to donate millions of rands to support this initiative.
Total raised: in excess of R120-million.
Patron: K Andropoulos
Founder/Donor: J K Sparkes
Trustees: P D Grealy, G Fatseas-Mazarakis, C M V Nel, & Y Phahle
Karolina Andropoulos matriculated at St Mary’s School in Johannesburg, and then went on to study Fine Arts at the University of the Witwatersrand, where she graduated in 1988.
In 2001 Karolina was living in Sydney, Australia, when her daughter Georgina was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer. This led to several years of in- and out-patient treatment for her daughter at Sydney Children’s Hospital. This circumstance resulted in first-hand experience of paediatric hospital facilities abroad, and left Karolina with a passionate interest and commitment to the improvement of paediatric facilities in South Africa.
In 2009 Karolina became patron of the Carte Blanche “Making a Difference” trust. To date the trust has raised over R120-million in support of State paediatric units across the country.
Karolina has been residing in Johannesburg again since 2006.
Chris Nel has been a Chartered Accountant since 1983. Since April 1998 he has practiced under the name of Viljoen Nel Chartered Accountants.
A Brief History
In the seven years since the launch of the Carte Blanche ‘Making a Difference’ campaign, over R120-million has been raised to equip and renovate Paediatric Operating Theatres, ICUs and High Care Wards in 10 State academic hospitals in six provinces.
This has granted long-term benefits to thousands of children in South Africa.
The Carte Blanche “Making a Difference” Trust is currently involved in its 16 hospital project, namely to create a Neonatal and Paediatric Operating Theatre at Tygerberg Hospital in the Western Cape.
In addition to this, the Carte Blanche ‘Making a Difference’ Trust has provided infrastructural support and secured sponsorship for feeding programmes to three large charities nationally.
Charlotte Maxeke Academic Hospital received almost R17-million worth of upgrades and equipment, including a Laparoscopic Operating Theatre, a 7-bed ICU, the equipping of a 12-bed Post Operative High Care Ward, a Cardiac Heart Lung Machine and Lodox Digital X-ray machine.
Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital was revitalised to the value of over R15-million, including the complete refurbishment of the Neonatal Operating Theatre Complex. The latter was equipped with a Laparoscopic Operating Theatre, recovery area and a 6 bed Neonatal ICU.
Separately, a second Laparoscopic Operating Theatre was procured and installed to cater specifically to the Paediatric community of the largest hospital in the southern hemisphere.
As with Charlotte Maxeke Academic Hospital, Chris Hani Baragwanath also received a Lodox full body scanner.
King Edward VIII Hospital is the largest beneficiary of the Trust with approximately R27-million worth of investment.
Initially, R4-million was utilised to purchase equipment for the Neonatal ICU at this hospital. The balance of R23-million was used to construct and equip a ‘Paediatric Centre of Excellence’ on the grounds of King Edward VIII.
The Paediatric Centre is home to the Acute and Outpatients Units of King Edward VIII Central Hospital, and serves as an adjunct to other paediatric facilities at the hospital.
Frere Hospital in East London was the beneficiary of an extensive project to refurbish an existing building in order to create dedicated paediatric operating theatres for the benefit of uninsured children throughout the Eastern Cape.
Over R6-million went to equipping the Neonatal ICU at Universitas Hospital, as well as financing the creation and equipping of a Paediatric ICU here.
By way of an extraordinary donor request, the Carte Blanche ‘Making a Difference’ Trust refurbished and equipped a Paediatric ICU at Kimberley Hospital. This unit is the only one of its kind for the benefit of the youth in the Northern Cape. This facility was the recipient of an additional half a million rands worth of equipment in 2013.
Steve Biko Academic Hospital received an assortment of Renal and Cardiac equipment solely for Paediatric use to the value of R1.8-million. Its closely allied facility – Kalafong Hospital – received a unique Paediatric Burns Dressing Room which acts as a day surgery for children receiving skin grafts and care during the long haul to recovery.