Acclaimed author Marita van de

Acclaimed author Marita van der Vyver meets South Africans in London

On 22 November the people of London got together at one of London’s most unique venues to support Capetonian writer Marita van der Vyfer and raise funds for the Children’s Hospital Trust, South Africa and their Sarah Fox Foundation: Pallative Care Unit.

Acclaimed author Marita van de
Marita van der Vyver

ON 22 November 60 people joined celebrated South African author Marita van der Vyver, her husband and daughter for a wonderfully relaxed evening at one of London’s most unique venues. Marita van der Vyver was born in Cape Town and holds a masters degree in journalism from the University of Stellenbosch. She published three novels for adolescents before her first adult novel, Griet skryf ‘n sprokie, became a best-seller, winning the M-Net, Eugène Marais and ATKV Prizes in 1992. Since then she has been a full-time writer of fiction for readers of all ages, producing novels, a collection of humorous essays, a collection of short stories, picture books for young children and numerous stories included in anthologies.

She has won several awards as well as a bursary for international study from the SA Foundation for Creative Arts, and was invited to take part in the renowned writers’ programme of the University of Iowa in the USA. All her adult novels are translated from the original Afrikaans into English, Dutch and German, while Griet skryf ‘n sprokie has been translated into a dozen languages including Chinese and Icelandic. She lives in a small village in the south of France with her French husband, Alain Claisse. They have three sons and a daughter.

Marita and her family

Marita, who was visiting London to promote her new book  ‘n Fontein voor ons deur shared extracts from her books, catering for both the English and Afrikaans audience. After the readings all attendees had a chance to have their purchased books signed, while enjoying South African wine and delicious appetizers, all kindly supplied by the host for the evening, Nedbank.

The attendees were all surprised to meet the wonderful South African illustrator Piet Grobler too, who collaborated with Marita van der Vyver on her book Mia’s mom. Piet Grobler is a senior lecturer and course leader in Illustration at the University of Worcester in the West-Midlands of England.

The evening was a great success, with a full house and raising a total sum of £1,400 on tickets alone and an extra £214 from the evenings raffle. The evenings donations were all in aid of the Children’s Hospital Trust, South Africa and their Sarah Fox Foundation: Pallative Care Unit


The Children’s hospital trust really fills a niche in African health care through providing such a programme. Palliative care focuses on relieving the suffering of patients, and their families of those with life-limiting or life-threatening illnesses. More than 80,000 children and infants in the Western Cape alone require such specialized treatment. Despite the demand for such care, palliative treatment still needs to be recognised as an essential component of the care for all children and needs to be integrated into the public healthcare systems.


The Childrens Hospital Trust has proposed a 5 year programme which will provide a multi-disciplinary consultative paediatric palliative care service to equip healthcare professionals across all levels of the existing public health care system. The Sarah Fox unit is a 10 bed inpatient Paediatric Palliative Care Unit which will be developed at the Sarah Fox Convalescent Children’s Hospital where they will provide a the much needed service.