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A VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS FROM OUR BUTTERFLY CENTRE CREW
December 2021

Dear Friends and Supporters of the Butterfly Centre

What an exciting year we have had. So much learning and so much progress seen in all our special children. It was lovely to see some of the parents at our open morning, and very rewarding to hear them talk about the positive changes they have seen in their own children over the last year.
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Sports

We have been very blessed with the support of the Grootbos foundation sports coaches, who visit twice a week to engage the children in a variety of outdoor sports. They also arranged for the donation of cricket bats and equipment, as well as very smart New Balance t-shirts and caps for all our lucky kids.

We had a very successful sports day, together with the Eduden children from Stanford. It was heartwarming to see how the children worked together and supported each other, promoting the inclusivity and acceptance that lies at the heart of our work at The Butterfly Centre.

In 2022 the Grootbos swimming coaches have agreed to expand their water safety programme to the Stanford area, making use of the newly completed swimming pool at the Kastner’s house at Stanford Hills. Longer term, it is our wish and dream to build a specialised therapy pool for the use of such programmes, as well as therapy opportunities for the wider community. Watch this space!
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School

Teacher Ros Howlett continues to lead our Chrysalis class (7-14 years), and you would be hard pressed to find a more passionate teacher. Her teaching techniques have lead to tremendous strides in reading, writing and maths for all her pupils.

Teacher Sindy Furley took up an opportunity in Worcester, where she could be closer to her son’s school as he enters his matric year. We will all miss her, but wish her very well on her next chapter.

We were extremely blessed to welcome on board Alexandra Cowley to take over as teacher for our Butterfly Class (14-18 years) as well as taking on the role of Manager of the Butterfly Centre.

Ally is a qualified Montessori teacher, with a post-graduate qualification in Special Needs Education, and comes with 20 years experience in the educational field. She is the perfect person to lead us into further growth of the Centre in 2022.

Teacher Robyn, trained as an ECD educator, continues to work as a teachers assistant between the two classrooms. We are grateful to our volunteers who do one-on-one reading with the children, as well as art and music. The African Horse company also offers horseriding and equine therapy to the children free of charge.
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In October 2021 the second wing of the existing Butterfly Centre was finally completed. This addition was made possible by the Lighthouse 2 Lighthouse ladies of 2020, including myself, whose 100km walk raise an incredible R800 000. This allowed for the completion of Phase 1, with enough left over to build the basic structure for Phase 2. The new building contains 2 large rooms. The first will be the new larger premises for our Chrysalis class, which requires more space as more parents and children discover this magical place to learn. The original classroom will be used for art and music initially, but as we grow our younger student intake this will be used for the ECD element of the Centre.

The larger of the 2 rooms is destined to become our indoor exercise and Occupational Therapy room. We have had suitable flooring for this area, in the form of karate mats, sponsored through the efforts of one of our Butterfly Centre dads.

A local OT from Hermanus, Maryke van Rhyn, is looking to expand her practice to Stanford and will make use of this area in 2022, which will be enormously beneficial not just for our Butterfly Centre kids, but the Stanford community who do not have access to this resource locally at present.
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In the coming year we will also focus on growing our skills development programme for the older children, which will provide them with employment opportunities and therefore the opportunity to live productive and independent lives.
We have once again been blown away this year by the support of folks from far and wide. We had a lovely visit from the a group of girls from St Cyprians who came to spend the day creating and building the sandpit used daily by the children. Applewood primary had a sale of childrens art and the funds raised were split between The Butterfly Centre and the amazing Bizweni Centre in Somerset West. The local Movie buffs of Stanford continue to meet regularly for soup and movies at the home of the Herriots, and this regular income has been a real blessing.
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The Nussbaum foundation has been integral in the creation of this project, from just a dream to the beautiful space we occupy today, and we cannot thank them enough for their faith in us and their continued support.

The Sprokies vir Afrika foundation, based in the Netherlands, have also given regular support over the years and we thank them from the bottom of our hearts.

Thanks also to our regular sponsors and donors, too many to mention but you know who you are...may you all be richly blessed in return.

Thank you to the Butterfly Centre board, who work hard behind the scenes to make sure our NPO complies with all the many requirements to ensure legal, ethical and transparent management.
The fact that we no longer need to pay rent has been a real help as we continue to grow. Fundraising remains a reality for us, as many of the children who most need our services come from families who are unable to pay full fees for tuition and therapies. It also requires funds to have children accessed professionally diagnosed, which then helps us to tailor make suitable individualised education plans.

Please consider becoming a regular sponsor of one such child. If unable to sponsor the full R2 200 monthly, please consider sponsoring 50% of a precious child’s fees to allow them to fulfil their personal potential in a loving and supportive environment. Should you be willing to do this, we will send personal thanks and updates on the progress of your specific student.

If you are able to assists with any of our wish list items below we would be MOST grateful:
  • A new trampoline as ours is broken
  • Flooring for our new Chrysalis class
  • Sports equipment or OT equipment (including a boxing bag)
  • An interactive whiteboard
  • Desks and suitable chairs for new students

We thank each and every one of our supporters, and send you all love and the very best wishes for 2022. We are ready and excited to keep growing and improving, and allowing each child to shine their beautiful and individual light into the world.

With so much love from me, the Butterfly board and staff, but most of all from our very special Butterfly children.

Love Jami Kastner
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