Donate a brick to seabird hospital

This picture, taken on Friday September 22, shows the progress being made on construction of the new seabird hospital at Sanccob.

It has been six fruitful weeks since Northern News and its sister titles, published by Cape Community Newspapers (CCN) shared the news of the fundraising drive to gain public support for a new seabird hospital at the Southern African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds (SANCCOB) in Table View.

Through the partnership we hope to gather support for the non-profit organisation’s urgent Donate-a-brick campaign. Every rand and every ‘brick’ sponsored is a step closer to an improved facility to continue saving the endangered African penguin species from extinction.

Sanccob is known for its marine conservation efforts to rescue, rehabilitate and release African penguins and other seabirds and with the support of the public, hopes to raise the shortfall of funds to complete its largest development in nearly 50 years. Sanccob’s fundraising and marketing manager, Francois Louw, said: “We have seen a wonderful increase in public support since partnering with Cape Community Newspapers and wish to thank all who have contributed thus far. We believe whole-heartedly that the combined donations of people and businesses can help us reach our goal of building a new seabird hospital. CCN has provided the ideal platform to share our appeal and connect with those who care as much as we do about the conservation of the iconic African penguin and seabirds in need of our help.”

Elaborating on the progress made thus far, Mr Louw said construction of the hospital building was nearly at roof height and the structure and roof would be installed within the next two weeks.

The penguin pools are nearing completion and should be ready just in time for what the organisation calls ‘chick season’. This peak period takes places between October and January every year when Sanccob admits hundreds of abandoned African penguin chicks from the colonies.

It is during this time that adult African penguins undergo their annual moult to regain new waterproof feathers and are therefore unable to fish to feed their young.

With 500 to 600 chicks admitted and cared for over a four-month period, it is the busiest time of the year for Sanccob who relies on the willingness of local and international volunteers to care for the chicks. Mr Louw said that services for the pools have been installed and surfaces are being prepared and compacted for concrete to follow.

Sanccob’s Donate-a-brick cam-
paign is a small ask to fulfill a big need. Its new seabird hospital, pens and pools will ensure that the organisation continues to save the lives of thousands of seabirds for generations to come. To donate a brick at R50 each is all Sanccob is asking for, to collectively achieve this vision. Whether you are an individual, or represent a business, trust or foundation, you are invited to pledge your support and partner with Sanccob to save our seabirds. Sanccob welcomes corporates, schools and social groups to challenge each other and become ambassador fundraisers.

If you are able to make a donation, visit www.sanccob.co.za and select ‘Donate a Brick’ or contact Ronnis Daniels on 021 557 6155 or email ronnis@sanccob.co.za for more information.

Ronnis Daniels is the marketing and fundraising officer for Sanccob.