“I dared to dream big and start my own foundation in service of children with profound mental and physical disabilities. It’s been a long and interesting journey with many challenges along the way, but I have never taken my eye off becoming an empowered young female South African who is determined to add value, not only to the vulnerable children who find their way to me, but to the staff whom I am able to engage in valuable skills transfer and elevate them to a level of excellence in working with these children who require an expert hand.”
I started my organisation in July 2015 after working at another organisation with special needs children from 2004 to 2015 learning everything I could about increasing the functionality and quality of life of very special needs children. In essence, it is because of these disabled children that I not only have a job, but am forging ahead with my own foundation, determined to be self-employed, while creating jobs for unemployed women and coordinating their upliftment with my circle of expert physiotherapists, occupational therapists, and speech language pathologists.
I was mentored by Julie Botha who I met in 2004. She poured her energy, experience, and expertise into me over many years and helped me grow the confidence to take a leap of faith and open Queen Butterfly Foundation, successfully duplicating the model she had created in her own organisation. She eventually agreed to turn her full attention to helping me run my own Centre and chaired my Management Committee for some years. I’m grateful that she’s now Vice Principal to Queen Butterfly Foundation, helping to grow our operational sustainability. We make an excellent team.
We are focused on quality care at our Centre and therefore have a small facilitator-to-child ratio to ensure that we attend properly and professionally to each of our children. This also means that we cannot take on too many children without compromising the quality of care. The ratio remains 1 facilitator to 3 children as each child needs hands-on attention as they are all children with a variety of severe mental and physical impairments. To grow, we need to hire and train more staff.
My organisation relies heavily on fundraising, as the school fees do not cover our staff and running expenses which slows our momentum down. Naturally our aim is to be self-sustaining. While our small network is slowly growing, it is going to take us time to get to that point.
I and my staff have devoted our lives to working with special needs children and need your help in growing our financial strength so that we can continue using our Foundation as a platform for training, job creation and ultimately the expert stimulation of special needs children.