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Tygerbear Phases and Projects

After thorough research and careful consideration the management of the TygerBear Social Work Unit, in consultation with the Chief Director of Tygerberg Academic Hospital, the Provincial Minister of Health and the National Deputy Minister of Health, have planned to accomplish their vision and mission in phases i.e.:

Phase I:
The TygerBear Unit for traumatised children and their families, was established to provide psychosocial services within an upgraded child friendly environment with improved facilities in the main hospital.

Phase 2:
This phase which was recently completed, and consists of a Training Centre for the education and training of people involved in the care and management of children, their families and adolescents who have been traumatised. Counseling services are also offered to children and their families who have been traumatised. Most of these programmes are aimed at the prevention of trauma.

Phase 3:
The establishment of a dedicated survivor's care centre to provide a psychosocial service to survivors of rape and other trauma in adults and children as well as their significant others (family, friends and partners). The need for such a centre has become a priority due to the alarming increase in rape and child molestation as well as the fact that very young babies are subjected to this horrific trauma as seen at this unit in 2003.

Survivors can usually be stabilized medically within a short period of time and are then ready for discharge from the hospital. However, due to the complexity of this trauma the psychosocial circumstances with the accent on safety and therapy needs more time and attention. The impact of such trauma may need more intensive therapy than just trauma counseling for example play therapy for children, family therapy and HIV/Aids counseling Besides therapy the survivors will also be cared for in a safe and homely atmosphere. Sponsorships are desperately needed in order to make this centre a reality.

Phase 4
Establishing a psychosocial support and information service centre with the emphasis on HIV/AIDS and cancer patients and their families as well as all other patients requiring support and empowerment.

Phase 5:
To establish a sport centre with a holistic therapeutic approach to traumatised children and contributing to their psychosocial and physical welfare.


Project 1:  Comfort Bear Project
The objective of this project is to give to traumatised children a teddy bear, knitted by volunteers as an object of consolation.

Project 2:  Hospital Preparation Project
To train and empower children and their families who may suffer trauma as a result of hospitalisation by offering preventative training programmes to these patients, their families and other stakeholders. Use is made of activity learning material, role play, puppet shows, etc.

Project 3:  Safety Programme
These programmes are aimed at the PREVENTION of trauma by making children aware of unsafe situations. Aids such as activity booklets, games and puppet shows are being used.

Project 4:  Emergency Relief Project
Many patients of the Tygerberg Hospital are in desperate need of basic means of livelihood which is aggravated by hospitalisation. The purpose is to support these patients and their families with "survival packages" which contain items such as food, toiletries, blankets and clothes (track suits and underwear for rape survivors).

Project 5:  Newsletter Project
The objective of this venture is to keep our community, sponsors, volunteers, interest groups and the staff of the Hospital informed by means of regular communication in the form of a newsletter.

Project 6:  Resource and Information Project
The objective of this project is to gather the latest literature available, relevant to psychosocial and other community problems and to make this information available to interested parties.

Project 7 : Volunteer project
Volunteers perform an essential role in the successful functioning of TygerBear.  It is therefore necessary to continually recruit and train new volunteers. The objectives of this project also include the organising, co­ordination and efficient utilisation of volunteers to the benefit of TygerBear and the community at large.

Project 8 : Court preparation programme
The objective is to empower traumatised child witnesses to give accurate evidence and to prevent further trauma resulting from court procedures. Sponsorship is desperately needed for this project. 

Project 9 : Adopt a bear project
This is a fundraising project as well as a marketing opportunity of the activities of TygerBear. Toy bears are sold together with information relevant to the adoption process.


Project 10 : Special events project
This project provides for special events such as outings, helicopter rides, birthday- and "progress with therapy" celebrations, which are arranged for children to escape from their circumstances.

Project 11 : Elderly and Youth against trauma
This project is aimed at the challenge to form a "team" consisting of the elderly and youth, to work together to make a difference in the lives of traumatised children and families.

The Project has a dual purpose, namely :

  • To change the concept of age as a time of hardship, loneliness, ill-health, worthlessness, disrespect, redundancy and decreased mobility to one of contentment, productiveness, activity, positive self-esteem, respect, dignity and fulfillment. (Also to protect the rights of the elderly according to the Declaration of the Rights of the Elderly made in 1991 by the United General Assembly).
  • To educate the youth (children) to incorporate older persons into their lives and to value the contribution they make to our families and our society in general.

Project 12 : HIV/AIDS Project
This project is aimed at the prevention of HIV/AIDS as well as providing for the care dynamics of psycho-social support services by social workers. It provides for the following programmes:

  • Pre-and post-test counseling, family and couple counseling
    Awareness training and education in order to put a human face to HIV/AIDS to enable healthcare professionals and their role players to respond appropriately to persons living with HIV/AIDS in terms of rights and ethics.
  • Addressing the needs of children infected and affected by HIV/AIDS.
  • Do preventative work at schools and empower children with knowledge and information. An example of this is the Getting to Grips with Life programme which focuses on grade 6 and 7 learners equipping them with life skills in order to deal with HIV/Aids. It is a full day programme presented by experts in this field.
  • The content of the programme includes practical work sessions and small group discussions. The aim is to prepare children to make responsible choices. See an example attached as published in the "Klein Burger".  Sponsorship is still required for this project.
  • Liase, network and establish strong partnerships in order to create a data-base to enable healthcare professionals to act appropriately.
  • Public promotions, awareness and prevention.
  • Undertake contextual research and analysis, monitoring and evaluation, by means of participatory research.

Project 13 : Staff support project
Support and empowerment programmes to staff members of Tygerberg Academic Hospital involved in services to traumatised children and families.

Project 14 : Parent support programmes
This includes guidance programmes to parents and making literature with reference to communication, discipline, the needs and rights of children available to them, to ultimately function optimally as parents.

Project 15 : Survivors Day project
This project was initialised to offer entertainment to children and their families who were at some or other way affected by trauma.  It gives them hope and an opportunity to celebrate their victory over shocking circumstances.

Project 16 : Mobile unit project
This is a mobile counseling service made available to groups on request, where trauma is involved e.g. at schools.

Project 17 : Gang victim support project
Psychosocial services and support to children and their families who were victims of gang related violences.

It is important to note that although separate business plans have been developed for each phase and different projects identified, a holistic approach to these social-psychological and medical issues is being followed and that an integrated management approach will be applied. TygerBear is in the fortunate position where the different specialised medical, psychological and social services can be offered under one roof!