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Ten years of caring for Butterfly House

Butterfly House recently celebrated their ten year anniversary with a picnic at Cascade Country Manor.

With the generous donation of Ivar Koteng, SpareBank and many local businesses, under the guidance of Paarl Round Table, Butterfly House, situated in Fairyland, was built to serve as a community resource centre in 2008.

According to Elizabeth Scrimgeour, CEO Drakenstein Palliative Hospice and Butterfly House, the founding vision of Butterfly House was to address and expand the holistic care practices provided by Drakenstein Palliative Hospice (DPH).

This NGO aims to address the needs of children and youth, with an expectation of living with, infected and affected by life threatening illnesses and/or other life-limiting conditions.

They also address the challenges of poor education and nutrition, rampant crime, sexual, physical, emotional and drug abuse, poverty, neglect and lack of role appropriate models through their programmes and activities so that the children may effectively participate in a future healthy life and embrace optimal living.

Currently they have over 300 children between 2 and 18 years old that are enrolled and who participate in the Butterfly House programmes.

The school programmes include a pre-school programme, middle school programme and a youth school programme.

Their Pillars of Change programme which has been identified to overcome community barriers, is used to guide their practice, develop their programmes and evaluate the progress and outcomes at Butterfly House. These pillars include health and wellness, safety and security, personal capacity development and health literacy.

Another programme is the Wings of Change which are based on the Danish Youth School concept focusing on academic support, professional skills and social skills. In response to the vulnerability of the Fairyland community at Butterfly House they have developed a therapeutic support programme which is their unique speciality brought by the partnership with DPH.

They also developed a set of principles to address the soft skills that are identified as stumbling blocks to a progressive, healthy hopeful future. These include accountability, self-worth, personal skills development, integrity and gender fairness.

“We provide daily meals from our kitchen, access to school stationery, personal hygiene needs and transport. We provide showers and hygiene facilities, homework spaces, facilitation and recreation spaces all in a safe environment,” said Elizabeth.

“Our interdisciplinary health and wellness team (TAC: Team Around the Child) provides psychosocial and physical care and support for patients, vulnerable community children and their families, living with life threatening illness or life limiting conditions with an expectation of living.

“These are programmes that create a supportive, safe learning environment where youth and children are exposed to and can experiment with skills to optimally manage academic demands, health care concerns, social relationships and the future world of work.

Butterfly House also has a reward shop which works on a point system that rewards behaviour such as politeness, consideration, attendance, participation and kindness and takes away points for fighting, swearing, disobedience and disruption. It is aimed at teaching the children about consequences for their actions. The points are exchanged at the Butterfly House Reward Shop which provides the opportunity to choose personal items such as toiletries, stationery, food, clothes, underwear and sanitary products.

Those who would like to make a donation for the Rewards Shop can contact Butterfly House or for more information visit their website at www.butterflyhouse.co.za, phone them on 021 872 4060 or send an email to butterflyhouse@drakensteinhospice.org.za.

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