This is a great idea! I would bid on stuff like this but I have way
too little money to win this stuff.
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa (CNN) -- How about tea with Nelson Mandela? Or perhaps you would like to spend the afternoon chatting with Archbishop Desmond Tutu? Or maybe, you would just like to hang out with Virgin boss Richard Branson on his game farm in South Africa?
Until May 25, bidders from around the globe can bid for the chance to spend time with Nobel Prize winners, business leaders, sporting champions and other celebrities through eBay, the Internet auction site.
All the money raised will be given South African children's charities.
The Walter Sisulu Pediatric Cardiac Center for Africa is one of a number of charities that will benefit from the money raised by the international auction.
"It costs $15,000 to save the life of a child with a heart defect," says Dr. Robin Kinsley, a heart surgeon at the center. He hopes the auction will raise enough money to help many children receive free treatment.
"Outside of South Africa, there are virtually no infant or neonatal cardiac surgery units, which is extraordinary because the continent has approximately one billion people and half of those are children," Kinsley says.
Of those children, he believes about one in a hundred are born with heart problems. Without an operation, many of them die within the first year of their life.
Flying a sick African child into South Africa for treatment, costs $15 000; once operated on, Kinsley says, the child has every chance of a normal life.
Since 2003, thanks to donor funding, he and his team of cardiac surgeons have performed 150 life-saving operations on sick children from across the continent.
If the auction is a success, many he believes more lives can be saved.
Even if unable to compete with top bidders for tea with Mandela, visitors to the site can make a donation to the initiative through the eBay Web site.