Iris House Children’s Hospice campaigns for support in the face of funding cuts

Categories: Community Engagement.

Iris House Children’s Hospice in Cape Town is a charity that cares for children with special needs and their families. Due to funding cuts from the Western Cape government, they have launched a campaign #Notwithoutafight in order to become self-sufficient.

The hospice has set up several initiatives to achieve their goal. The first is a petition they hope to take to Parliament to stop the national budget cuts. The petition can only by tabled for parliament once it has more than 15,000 signatures.

They have also set up a fundraising campaign called “not without a fight.” (#Notwithoutafight)

The petition states:

We, the undersigned, raise our collective voice in support of Iris House Children’s Hospice and the over 670 children facing life-threatening and life-limiting conditions who rely on its indispensable respite care services. These vulnerable children, along with their families, are at the heart of our community, and the potential funding cuts from the Western Cape Department of Social Development (DSD) directly jeopardize their access to crucial care and support. The impact extends beyond the immediate recipients of Iris House’s services, affecting the well-being of families who depend on the organization’s compassionate initiatives.

The stakes are immeasurable if the current trajectory of funding cuts remains unchanged. Iris House’s multifaceted care, including equine therapy, medical training, food parcels, social worker support, and palliative care, will be severely compromised. The resounding consequence will be a direct denial of essential services to the most vulnerable members of our society. Families already navigating the complexities of life-threatening conditions will face heightened challenges without the lifeline that Iris House provides. The potential loss of this vital institution not only undermines the fabric of our community but also sets a disheartening precedent, signaling a lack of commitment to the well-being of our most vulnerable citizens.

Now, more than ever, we stand at a critical juncture that demands immediate action. The Western Cape DSD’s contemplation of discontinuing funding for Iris House and similar Non-Profit Organizations (NPOs) is a distressing reality, and the urgency of this matter cannot be overstated. The National Government’s budget cuts and the resultant fiscal constraints need to be questioned, the human cost of denying these vital services to children in need is too steep to ignore. Time is of the essence, and we implore our government representatives to act swiftly, reevaluate funding decisions, and ensure the continuity of care for these vulnerable children. Our collective compassion and sense of justice demand that we prioritize the most vulnerable among us, securing their access to essential services that Iris House Children’s Hospice has provided for over 13 years.

This story was also featured on the DSTV programme Carte Blanche on 17 March.

Learn more about the work of Iris House Children’s Hospice here: Home – Iris House Childrens Hospice (

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