Spiritual and Pastoral Care

In the hospital environment, patients often have to face harsh realities such as news of a terminal illness, uncertainty about their future and loss of hope. Families of patients are forced to make decisions about life and death, or deal with the loss of a loved one. Hospital staff have to cope with difficult patients and the trauma of death as well as the secondary trauma of seeing people wrestle with grief and suffering.

We believe that spiritual and pastoral support, care and counselling are an integral part of holistic people-centred health care. HospiVision offers these services to patients, their families, as well as hospital staff in 13 hospitals in Gauteng and the Western Cape. In this approach the whole human being and his/her support networks are viewed from a spiritual perspective. The focus of HospiVision’s trained counsellors and volunteers is to support people to find meaning and hope in their experiences of illness and suffering through compassionate presence, comfort, encouragement and mutual reflection.

Won’t you consider joining our team? It will be a life changing experience for yourself and those you journey with. Watch our video of Cindy Ryan: you are not alone!

Trauma Support

HospiVision provides trauma support and counselling services for patients and their families at the Accident and Emergency Units of hospitals. HospiVision has trauma counsellors and trauma supporters, who work as a team within the Accident and Emergency Units of hospitals. HospiVision’s trauma counsellors act as the first line of defence in the battle against crises, accidents and calamities.

It is in this context of human angst that HospiVision reaches out to touch the lives of patients and family that are shocked and scared. Our counsellors work in the Casualty Unit amongst the rest of the medical staff as an effective team in addressing the needs of the patient. HospiVision trauma supporters, on the other hand, are part of the HospiVision team that focus mainly on the needs of the families and friends of patients, sitting in the waiting area, where encouragement, support and comfort can be offered.

If you have previous counselling experience, involvement in trauma counselling will be a challenging experience that will hone your skills. A HospiVision trauma counselling course is a pre-requisite for involvement.

Debriefing and Support for Medical Staff

Medical staff in the public health care sector work long shifts and are exposed to a tremendous amount of suffering on a daily basis, often without support and adequate resources. Employee assistance programmes to help staff cope with their daily pressures and personal challenges, are limited. It is for this reason that HospiVision has designed and implemented effective group based debriefing and support programmes for medical staff. In Tshwane District, Steve Biko, Chris Hani Baragwanath, Tygerberg and False Bay hospitals regular debriefing groups are held. Additional debriefing groups are held on request from specialised units (e.g. neo-natal intensive care and medical oncology). Where needed individual counselling is also provided.

Our medical staff need encouragement and appreciation. You can make a practical difference by baking a cake or buy cupcakes for the staff of a ward or ask the children in church or at school to make a drawing / write a card that honour the doctor and nurses for their hard work.


Women and children are the most vulnerable groups in society and they often come from previously disadvantaged communities. There is a lack of support from fathers and employment opportunities are limited. Facing a health care crisis can therefore have devastating consequences. This is even more so where children and their families are living with HIV and AIDS because of the death of their parents and they sometimes live in child headed households. For a child and his/her family the hospital environment can be a terrifying experience because it is unfamiliar surroundings and they associate it with pain caused by medical interventions. Even for us as adults something like an injection is a scary situation!

HospiVision provides emotional, spiritual and physical support to sick children and their families. This could include soft or educational toys, reading to children and providing art materials such as crayons and colouring books. Babies and smaller children often require their mothers to be present in the hospital. This can be exhausting as mothers are far from home and spend the whole day at the bed of the child. There is a dire need for support and counselling for these mothers.

You can become involved through donations of age appropriate toys or volunteering your time to provide companionship. Call the office for a list of current needs.


Volunteers are the life blood of HospiVision’s services. Through these dedicated people we are able to provide a compassionate presence to patients and families on their journey with illness. The focus of the hospital is on the effective treatment of disease and dysfunction. The needs of the individual patient as a person with concerns, fears, hopes and dreams can get lost in the process. This is where the HospiVision volunteer makes a life changing difference by being a hand on the shoulder and providing a listening ear.

There are many rewards in volunteering: companionship with likeminded people, broadening your horizons by sharing your life with those in need as well as personal and spiritual growth. Our training programmes will ensure that a volunteer is equipped for the task. There is a well-structured support programme which includes recruitment, screening, selecting, training, mentoring and debriefing of volunteers. You can also volunteer your skills and talents.

Contact us today to discuss how you can become involved.


The Oasis is situated at the Anti-Retroviral clinic at the Tshwane District Hospital. HospiVision has developed a model to create a supportive and nurturing environment for people who are living with AIDS, are on ART (Anti-Retro-Viral Therapy) and therefore have to visit the clinic on a monthly basis. Various faith communities, NGO’s and businesses in the area support this initiative. At the Oasis they get a hearty bowl of soup and have the opportunity to socialize with other people living with HIV / AIDS.

At the Oasis we are in need of ingredients for soup as well as canned and dried foods. Contact us for a list of items that we purchase monthly for the Oasis as well as a list of items needed for food parcels.

Skills Development

People who access the public health care system on a regular basis, often come from economically poor and previously disadvantaged communities. This is particularly true for those living with chronic medical conditions and disabilities. HospiVision has created a variety of small-scale skills development programmes to empower these patients to generate an income for themselves. The practical skills we offer at the Oasis as a hand up (not a hand out) includes sewing, needlework, baking, computer literacy, and gardening. For sewing and baking the participants follow a 12 week training course with practical application (follow a recipe and bake items; for sewing they make different articles like a set of linen). The computer course is facilitated through Microsoft digital literacy programs ( and an Microsoft digital literacy certificate is given once a pass mark of 75% is achieved for the examination. It features five courses that cover computer basics; using the internet and productivity programs; security and privacy; and digital lifestyles. These five courses use examples and simulations from Windows 8 and Microsoft Office 2013.

Do you have time and skills that you can offer? We welcome donations of unused sewing machines, wool and material.

Broadcast Ministry

HospiVision Time is a weekly programme on Radio Pulpit which has been running since 2004. Pieter Barnard is the Pretoria presenter who encourages sick people and their care givers with stories of hope and support. You can tune into AM 657 if you live in Gauteng. The rest of the country can switch on DSTV channel 882. Live streaming is available on In Cape Town we have a similar programme on Radio Kaapse Kansel / Cape Pulpit on AM 729, which is coordinated by Annette de la Porte. By making use of this important medium of communication, HospiVision is able to share its vision, mission and values with all those who want to tune in for encouragement.

Academic Research

Health care in South Africa is in a crisis. Problems with infrastructure, management, human resources and the supply of essential medicines are at a critical level. This is compounded by a high burden of disease and disparity in levels of service delivery, particularly between public and private health centres. The government has put ambitious plans in place, which are part of the National Development Framework, but in the midst of this we find individuals and communities that are staggering under the suffering caused by disease, poverty, crime and violence. The chances are that these people are trying to make sense of this from a spiritual perspective. What is more, many health care workers trace their involvement in this field back to a spiritual motivation and are struggling to cope under tremendous pressure. This renewed emphasis on South Africa’s health care service delivery and the link between spirituality and health led to the establishment of a Research Programme on Spirituality and Health Care, which is hosted by the Centre for Contextual Ministry at the University of Pretoria ( and coordinated by HospiVision. The programme addresses key questions such as: what is the contribution of pastoral work to holistic people-centered health care in South Africa, how can spirituality be integrated in a multi-professional and multi-disciplinary approach to health care within the South African context, and how can the South African Government’s goal of “quality health care for all” be strengthened and expanded through the inclusion of spirituality as an essential part of a holistic, multi-professional and multi-disciplinary approach to health care?

Contact Andre de la Porte ( if you want to participate in the research programme.

Psychology Student Internships

At HospiVision we believe in equipping people to change lives. One of the ways we do this is by offering aspiring psychologists an opportunity to gain counselling experience within the hospital environment. This program does not offer any remuneration and it is preferred that you have completed your honours degree. You are expected to be at the office two days per week from 8:30 – 13:30. At Steve Biko hospital we offer supervision by a registered social worker to guide you while you take part in the program – please take note that no supervision is provided by a clinical psychologist.

You will be exposed to the following while you take part in the program: visiting patients in wards, working with patients referred by doctors, supporting staff members or members of the public who come to the office, offering debriefing and counselling services to family members who have lost a loved one, working within the accident and emergency unit. Group supervision sessions provides a safe space for reflection and learning from you peer group. To equip you for the above we also require that you compete the following two courses presented by us: the Short Course in trauma counselling in an Accident and Emergency Unit and the Short course in spiritual care and counselling for the sick.

To apply for a place in the program please send your CV and a motivational letter as to why you would be a suitable candidate to

We would be delighted to have the benefit of a clinical psychologist that wants to volunteer his/her expertise to the next generation by providing group supervision sessions. Someone with that skills set might want to volunteer some of his/her time as a community service.

Applications for 2019 have closed.  You are encouraged to apply next year from July.