Folio.YVR Issue #2: Philanthropy: Lambano Sanctuary & Dr Pavlou Foundation
In Gauteng, South Africa a team of twenty dedicated medically trained staff provide full-time care for children who live with life-limiting HIV and other threatening illnesses. Theirs is a calling of dedication and sacrifice to ensure the quality of treatment provided is the best that it can be to children so limited in options.
Aged 9 to 19 years, the residents at the Lambano Sanctuary receive the best medical treatment available, their mothers take part in skills development initiatives, and fundraising is a constant concern.
Market Researcher Melanie Prinsloo founded the Lambano Sanctuary in 2001 in response to the HIV crisis and the absence of facilities for orphans and children afflicted. In 2009, the first dedicated Paediatric Medical Step-down Facility/ Hospice in Gauteng was opened and focused on children who suffer from critical health problems including HIV/TB; renal, cardiac, and brain damage; burns and respiratory problems, genetic and neonatal defects; and cancer.
In the past ten years, the non-profit sanctuary has achieved success in caring for acutely ill HIV positive children and has achieved a high reunification rate with family after discharge, which is astounding given that many of the children admitted were received for palliative care.
Under the guidance of CEO Lyn Croote, the Lambano Sanctuary now operates four Forever Homes, caring for a total of 28 children, surviving on the generosity of donors.
Over 16,450 km’s away, one such donor lives and owns a thriving aesthetics medical practice in the heart of the beautiful west coast city of Vancouver.
Dr. Christopher Pavlou is a medical doctor who is board certified in medical aesthetics. South African-Greek by birth, this vibrant and engaging entrepreneur has quickly cultivated a select clinic clientele by being true to his refreshing ‘Honour Your Beauty’ philosophy.
Skin Technique was launched in December 2017 in Yaletown. Surrounded by award-winning patios, boutiques, and digital creative agencies, Dr. Pavlou and his team offer a luxury clinic experience in a beautifully designed space, just steps from the city’s trendiest spots.
A dedicated medical professional, Dr. Pavlou is recognized by multiple professional organizations including both the Canadian and American Associations of Aesthetic Medicine.
Born, raised, and educated in South Africa, Dr. Pavlou worked in the busiest paediatric ward in Soweto. At the Baragwanath Hospital, he would spend weeks and sometimes months treating infants and young children with life-threatening illnesses.
Reflecting on these experiences, he shares “It always saddened me to see how long after being nursed back to health these children would have to stay in the hospital while social workers would frantically try to place them in caring homes. Their parents were often too poor or too sick themselves to take care of their children.”
Recently chosen by Vancouverites as Best Local Influencer in the annual ‘Best of’ awards in The Georgia Straight, Dr. Pavlou found himself on the receiving end of a steady stream of platitudes and congratulations.
“My initial surprise was followed, quite frankly, by a tinge of embarrassment. I was sharing this accolade with David Suzuki, yes, THE David Suzuki – brilliant environmental activist and one of The Greatest Canadians of all time, and Erin Ireland – influential food reporter and plant-based cooking pioneer. While I in no way would ever consider myself in the same influential league as either of them, it did get me thinking about what it meant for me to be an “influencer.”
The creation of the Dr. Pavlou Foundation soon followed as he contemplated the honour and what it meant after running a new business in such a competitive industry as medical aesthetics. Dr. Pavlou realized that “nothing feels as good as making another person happy. And that is how I choose to use this influence to do as much as I can, using the opportunities I have been blessed with – to enrich the lives of people in need and inspire those around me to do the same.”
The Lambano Sanctuary is near and dear to Dr. Pavlou’s heart, and in December 2018, his new foundation made a second donation of $10,000 to the South African non-profit which no longer receives government funding.
This generous donation will go towards the renovation of another property close to the existing Forever Homes to provide additional treatment beds and services to this most in need segment of the population.
“To go back to the country of my birth and make a donation to a cause so close to my heart was not only emotional and overwhelming but also heartwarming and hopeful,” Dr. Pavlou shares. “It filled me with gratitude for the opportunities I have been graciously afforded in my life.”