Goedgedacht Trust, a non-profit organisation operating from Goedgedacht farm at the foot of the Kasteelberg in the Riebeek Valley, reopened their Baby Unit on 22 February after the unit’s long closure, which was a direct result of the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic and the subsequent lockdown.
At a critical moment in the Goedgedacht Trust’s nearly 30 years of work as a non-profit, the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic has severely threatened its sustainability. At the beginning of the lockdown in March of 2020, the Trust was forced to stop all of its activities and close all of its centres, which included the baby unit.
The trust’s main concern was the baby unit, as the first 1 000 days are the most critical phase of a child’s life and its development. The baby unit can accommodate up to fifteen babies.
Goedgedacht provides a safe, peaceful, and stimulating environment for the babies by nurturing them and ensuring that babies from poor families are well-nourished, and as a result, given a head-start in life.
Baby units are essential but not popular because they are labour intensive and costly in items such as nappies, food, etc. It was going to be a financial tight rope walk to get it reopened.
Close to the end of November of 2020, however, Goedgedacht saw a very bright light at the end of a very dark and long tunnel. The trust was approached by a US based organisation called One In An Army (OIAA), who manages the global fan base of the Korean boy band BTS. The organisation essentially run fundraising campaigns for organisations that they identify, who share in the values of BTS, by using a life event of the pop group’s members as a means to raise funds.
Kim Seok-Jin’s birthday was celebrated on 4 December, and OIAA encouraged their fans to donate to Goedgedacht as a gift to Kim Seok-Jin. The fans of BTS who call themselves BTS ARMYs, stepped up in a remarkable way by making small donations, which added up to a sufficient amount of funding which enabled Goedgedacht to reopen its Baby Unit.
Goedgedacht was overwhelmed and deeply touched by the support it received from BTS ARMYs all over the world and decided to name the Baby Unit after Kim Seok-Jin.
Although BTS is a very well-known pop group worldwide, the group was not very popular in South Africa. In 2017 two Cape Town based sisters, Taazneen and Tagseen Samsodien, because of their interest and eventual support of BTS, founded BTS ARMYs ZA and started building a fan base in South Africa. Goedgedacht was privileged that these remarkable ladies could join us for the official opening of the Baby Unit which took place on Wednesday 31 March 2021.