Welcome to The Children’s Memorial Institute (CMI):

The Children’s Memorial Institute has a legacy spanning 100 years. Established as a Children’s Hospital by the National Council of Women in 1919, the Transvaal Memorial Hospital for Children opened its doors on the 29th October 1923.

Today the Children’s Memorial Institute (CMI) remains true to its original purpose of serving the needs of the city’s children. 30 non profit organisations are housed at The Children’s Memorial Institute and provide specialist services, most of which are absent in the mainstream public health services. The CMI is a multi-disciplinary community hub, a sustainable mixed use facility well used and well loved. The building remains busy and productive while remaining close to its original intention.

"The Children’s Memorial Institute– originally the Transvaal Memorial Hospital for Children, has always been a healing space for children. The space has evolved from a Children’s Hospital to a holistic, integrated space that offers a comprehensive approach to the well-being of children. The Children’s Memorial Institute has grown into a colourful, child friendly space where compassion flows. Great effort has been made to receive children with a gentle approach to their well-being. The building was grey, cold and daunting, not at all user friendly, now, with great sensitivity and awareness, the surrounds have been improved showing great sensitivity to all people. The Children’s Memorial Institute has heart and soul".

Dr Shaeda Omar
Member of the CMI Board
Director of The Teddy Bear Foundation

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What’s on at the CMI

The Sunflower Café and Zen Garden

Courage Child Protection & Empowerment and the Sunshine Association have partnered up to create a Sunflower Café where you can enjoy delicious cappuccinos and baked treats at the CMI. Housed at the entrance to the Sensory-Space, it is a great way to relax before or after your sensory adventure or business meetings.

Courage has also built a relaxing Zen Garden where CMI employees and visitors can go and relax, between visits or work. Our primary focus at Courage is to support child protection officers’ notes Dr Dee Blackie, CEO of Courage. Working with children who have been exposed to trauma or who have disabilities is a very demanding job. We created this space so that the staff and visitators to the CMI can have a place to take a deep breath and centre themselves in what are often very busy working days.

Join us for delicious cappuccinos and homemade baked treats at the Sunflower Cafe

A New Sensory-Space

The CMI has recently opened a new Sensory-Space for the children who attend school, therapy, creative or sporting activities at the Institute. The Space was developed and is managed by Dr Dee Blackie of Courage Child Protection & Empowerment. Housed in the old children’s creche at the CMI, this sensory adventure has a range of themed rooms that are designed to help you explore your various sensory systems in a fun and engaging way.

Environments that help us to explore our sensory systems have a remarkable impact on our sense of wellbeing and ability to engage positively with our world. This is especially relevant to children who are struggling with physical, mental, learning or social difficulties or disabilities. However, we all benefit from environments that help us to integrate and enhance our sensory abilities

The Sensory-Space is also open to the public for individual and group bookings. We take a maximum of 10 people per individual booking per hour, so you are guaranteed lots of time in each room. We take a maximum of 25 people for group bookings per hour which includes team building workshops, school outings and facilitated service engagements.

Children must be supervised by their parents, guardians or teachers, and all visitors must wear socks (no shoes are allowed in the themed sensory rooms – lockers are provided). We charge R50 for each visitor per hour and all profits made go towards the maintenance of the Children's Memorial Institute.

Your visit will include:

For more information please visit www.sensory-space.com or call/WhatsApp 0786397610 to make a booking. We look forward to welcoming you.

Enjoy our 15000 strong Boulder Boundary Ball Pond

Chill out with the sleeping whales in our Whale Chill Zone

Find the creatures hiding out in our Kelp Forrest Maze

The Kingsmead Grade 8’s enjoying their sensory treats in our Chill Zone

JPCCC Facilitators enjoying our Sand Therapy Room

Children's Memorial Institute



“The Children’s Memorial Institute is a treasure chest of people with extensive knowledge, expertise and skills. The people working at the CMI are a brains trust that is priceless, precious and cannot be dulplicated.” Dr Shaeda Omar

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Our Spaces

Our Spaces

There are a number of interesting and beautiful Spaces at the Children’s Memorial Institute. Each Space is steeped in history with many fascinating stories and anecdotes. Take a glimpse into our Spaces and read a little more about each Space’s history.

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Our Archive

Our Archive

Birth records from 1904; a beautiful letter written during the Boer War; a collection of medical equipment; ledgers, journals and official letters; newspaper and magazine articles; historical photographs; memories and records from yester year celebrating over a century of healthcare in early Johannesburg.

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  • Hotel Hope Ministries

  • Courage Child Protection and Empowerment

  • Lefika La Phodiso

  • Snowballs Autism Care Centre

  • Gauteng Childrens Rights Committee

  • Babies Matter

  • The Teddy Bear Clinic

  • The Sensory Space

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