Giving Forward: From a Child's Wish to a Children's Cancer Hospital by Rosalind McClymont
The Eugene Gasana Jr. Foundation is sponsoring the construction of a private regional pediatric cancer center serving Rwanda and the surrounding region of Africa. This new hospital will be a 240,000 sq. foot; 94-bed facility that embodies the African culture of the region, utilizes sustainable resources, and creates a soothing, open and restful environment for treatment to promote healing and recovery for the children and their families. The pediatric cancer cure rate remains less than 10% for children in developing countries as compared to the 80% of children cured in the US. Dr. Tanya Trippett believes that “No child should be denied the opportunity for cure of their cancer if we have it within our capacity to cure their cancer simply by providing the resources and leveraging our collective voice.”
The founders of the EGJ Foundation commissioned David Adjaye, OBE of Adjaye Associates to design a hospital that embodies the culture of the region and promotes respect and dignity of patients and their families. “I think that design can provide a critical inquiry into social consciousness and I have always sought to work out the aesthetics of this inquiry in my work. The creation of a state of the art children’s hospital in Rwanda has provided an incredible opportunity for architecture to contribute to a social change agenda in this way and to create a building that is a first for the continent – at the heart of the continent. It is an honor and an exciting prospect to be working on this project, where the design parameters have acknowledged the important role of environment on patient care and the process of healing is understood to be intrinsically linked to qualities such as light, views and materiality,” states David Adjaye. The design and development phase of the hospital is currently underway; construction of the hospital will begin in 2016.
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