The Kath Defilippi Fund for the Renewable Energy Project


Today’s Challenge

The Renewable Energy Project at South Coast Hospice in KwaZulu Natal, South Africa seeks to make its facilities and services for seriously ill patients less vulnerable to electrical outages, adverse weather events, and interruptions in water supply. This is now an urgent need due to climate change. The Project has established the Kath Defilippi Fund – named after the founder of South Coast Hospice.

Founder of South Coast Hospice
Kath Defilippi is a native South African who became an advance practice nurse qualified in hospice and palliative care. She established South Coast Hospice as a new non-profit organization in Port Shepstone, South Africa in 1983 to provide hospice and palliative care services to all in need. This included all races, religions, ages, and in all locations (including remote rural areas). As one of the first hospices in all of Africa, South Coast Hospice became a pioneering and path-setting program under Kath’s skilled leadership, tireless efforts, and strategic savvy. South Coast Hospice partnered with existing Hospitals and other providers to establish a network of care that has endured and grown over the last 40+ years. This includes the hallmark Hospice Inpatient Unit, the only Hospice inpatient unit in this part of Africa.

Courageous and Innovative Models of Care
Along with many publications and lectures, Kath developed the “Integrated Community-Based Home Care” model which became the standard for South African hospices. She also developed the palliative care nursing course for South Africa, and provided many mentorship trainings across the country. Over the years, Kath delivered many educational presentations at international conferences and symposia. Perhaps most significantly, in a time when HIV/AIDS relief was still not well received, Kath pioneered effective poverty alleviation work and HIV/AIDS care, which was subsequently expanded throughout the region. This work led to South Coast Hospice receiving the prestigious Nompumelelo Award.

National and International Leadership
Kath helped found and nurture the Hospice and Palliative Care Association of South Africa (HPCA), a national association representing all the hospices in South Africa. Her legendary leadership led to many awards, recognitions, and leadership posts - including election as the first Board President of the continent-wide palliative care association founded in 2004, the African Palliative Care Association (APCA).

An Enduring Legacy
Kath is now retired, and has remained emeritus founder of South Coast Hospice. She is thrilled with the vision and potential of the Renewable Energy Project currently underway, and sends her strong words of encouragement and participation to her many friends and colleagues in Africa and worldwide – all of whom are fortunate to know Kath, and feel the Kath Defilippi Fund is a most suitable and relevant legacy for this champion of champions.

Contributions to the Kath Defilippi Fund can be made through:

       Global Partners in Care (GPIC)
       African Palliative Care Association (APCA)
       South Coast Hospice: DONATE NOW

From the back left – Thobile Shazi – Staff Nurse, Nomaswazi Gwexe – Professional Nurse, Hombakazi Mokoena – Professional Nurse, - Noqwazi Mehlwana – Staff Nurse, 
From the front left – Tarryn Singh – Social Worker, Zanele Mkhize – Caregiver, Doris Cele – Staff Nurse