Butterfly House Youth School Capacity Statement July 2016

Butterfly House Pre and Primary School Capacity Statement September 2016

Butterfly House & iBhabhathane mission statement

Butterfly House, an independent NGO, operating in the Drakenstein district, is a community resource centre which aims to address the needs of children and youth, with an expectation of living, infected and affected by life threatening illnesses and / or life-limiting conditions.  We 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 our programs and activities so that our clients may effectively participate in a future healthy life and embrace optimal living.


To embrace life and living… a hopeful future Events

Butterfly House and iBhabhathane are the venues for the Drakenstein Palliative Hospice Day Care Programmes. They are situated in Fairyland and Mbekweni between Paarl and Wellington.

Butterfly House was established in partnership with Ivar Koteng & Nina Glad from Trondheim in Norway (supported by friends, family & staff), Familievernkontoret i Sǿr-trǿndelag, SpareBank, Paarl 44 Round Table, Drakenstein Palliative Hospice, Monte Christo Ministries, Dianna Princess of Wales Memorial Fund, HPCA, Pepfar and many other Private Individuals and Community Members and Businesses (see list under Funders).

Butterfly House and iBhabhathane aim to provide services, often in partnership with other organisations, which will add to the quality of life of patients, their families (infected and affected) and others made vulnerable through neglect, abuse, malnutrition, substance abuse, extreme poverty and illness.

Providing comprehensive Cultural Support Programs and Activities in an economically disadvantaged community

We see culture as that which is meaning making for an individual, family or group.  Culture is conveyed through activities, relationships and interactions, which define individual, family and community values and ways of living.  We aim to celebrate and acknowledge that which is good, sacred and traditional within the cultural diversity of the youth and children in our programmes.  Our aim is also to expose youth to different or alternative cultural and behavioural attitudes and ways of being which could be utilised to build on community transformation towards achieving a healthy, hopeful future out of poverty.

utterfly House has over 300 voluntary children and youth participants in our programmes.  The community we serve is a transitioning informal settlement, whose residents primarily work in the surrounding farms and factories.  The community also houses a number of migrant workers and immigrants from neighbouring countries.

Cultural diversity and social cohesion is celebrated at Butterfly House, where our motto is: doing care in the community, by the community, with the community… No end to hope.  We are situated in the community we serve and employ the community as our cultural consultants and our volunteers (local and international) and staff provide access to diverse experiences and thinking; the building blocks of societal transformation.

Holistic approach

Effective community or societal transformation strategies should impact on every aspect of the individual but also every aspect of the community.  This includes e.g. physical (health and the environment), social (relationships and safety), emotional (self-worth and community support), intellectual (academic achievement and civic responsibility), cultural (meaning making, religion, race, heritage) and spiritual (quality of life and living).


To this end, we are inclusive of the family and the community in our programmes with the youth and children.

Create a learning environment

Provide academic support

Provide resources to do homework and gain computer skills

Create a sense of belonging

Provide a safe environment

Dealing with loss & grief

Somebody to listen

Discover self-worth

Gain information & Knowledge

Provide exposure to life & living

Developing work place skills

Develop entrepreneurial skills

Develop independence & responsibility

Promotion of Hygienic practices

Prevention of spread of illnesses

Understanding of abuse

Ensuring basic nutrition

How the body works

Have more choices

Develop self-confidence

Find your voice

Exposure to bigger picture

Being comfortable with others


Our cross-cutting principles are based on ‘A Challenge for Africa’ by Wangari Mathaai who speaks about the damaging impact of colonialism on the people of Africa resulting in a disqualification of traditional values, heritage and self-worth and thereby negatively impacting on self-confidence, accountability and personal capacity development.

Justice and Ethics are key to community transformation expressed through fairness, respectful practices and building on individuality and autonomy.  Unfair gender practices disadvantage not only woman but also men.  Woman often singularly take on the responsibility of the home and caring for the children and men are often denied the privilege of caring for their own children. 

Butterfly House is a non-religious and non-political organisation ensuring availability and being respectful to all cultural and political views.

The cross-cutting principles are integrated throughout the organisation and provides the work ethical approach impacting on the community, staff, youth, children and volunteers.


We employ an occupational therapist who is the Butterfly Manager and co-ordinates the activities at the Resource Centre.  We also employ four youth and childcare workers.  We also have a part-time teacher, programme facilitators, volunteers, a full time cook, drivers, and pay community members a stipend to act as gate monitors.

We have formed partnerships with local schools whose learners assist with the afternoon programs and various interns and students (social work, auxiliary social workers and home based carers).  The Butterfly House programs also have access to the full staff compliment of DPH, their social workers, professional nurses and home based caregivers to assist with psychosocial and medical concerns as well as access to the home in the community.


The Butterfly House project is based on the Danish Youth School programs, which focuses on the holistic development of children and youth, who have historically been culturally isolated and disadvantaged, to reach their potential and to actively participate and embrace a hopeful future.

Our programmes are planned and structured in line with the cultural and social needs of our vulnerable youth and children as guided by experience and the voices of our children and youth. 

Academic support, professional and social skill development are the corner stones of the intervention outcomes.


Academic Support Professional Skills Social Skills
Homework space & supervision,

Computer skills, Reading and stories,  numeracy & literacy, learning through play, games, drama, role play etc.

Self-confidence building activities (fashion shows, drama, dancing, crafting leadership  opportunities); Reward system and the Butterfly Shop, Cleaning, job skills,  taking on responsibility     Building on self-worth through doing and participating, communication skills, dealing with anger, aggression, bullying and grief, budgeting, cooking, entertaining, health and being a teenager, dancing and drama.

 4.1       PROJECT ACTION PLAN: On-going

Mon to Friday   Monday to Thursday Friday
2.30 to 4.30 Grade 1 to Grade 3 Academic: Professional / Social & Meal Social & Meal
3.00 to 5.30 Grade 4 to Grade 7 Academic: Professional / Social & Meal Social & Meal
5.00 to 8.00 Grade 8 to Grade 12 Academic: Professional / Social & Meal Social & Meal

Academic and homework support is part of daily activities (except Fridays) and various age appropriate modules are presented and adapted.  Programme modules are 5 to 6 weeks long and each session has set goals and outcomes described as part of the planning process.  A graduation certificate ceremony is organised at the completion of each module. Examples are:

  • The Little Chefs Programme providing exposure to a professional chef and kitchen environment
  • The Science Lab exploring science and experiments
  • Event Planning and execution
  • Crafting using recyclable materials, sewing, knitting, decoupage and paper maché
  • Family history research
  • Computer skills
  • Drama and poetry
  • Dancing (gum boot, ballroom, hip hop, riel dancing) and cultural games
  • Community Care which focusses on taking care of self and others, health and safety, picking up rubbish and helping the elderly or a neighbour, active citizenship
  • Gardening, healthy eating and nutrition

Special public holidays and cultural events are workshopped and celebrated e.g. human rights, child protection, youth day and heritage day.

Cultural Social Skill Programme: Gentlemen and Fair Ladies

The programme is adapted to the specific age group.  Skills addressed are:

  1. Hygiene: Washing hands and dishes, cleanliness,
  2. Table etiquette: Setting the table, culturally appropriate table manners, sharing, using appropriate table ware
  3. How to socialise: How to listen, ask questions; being inclusive
  4. Invitations: The older children get to invite a guest and prepare a meal for them
  5. Planning of meal: To prepare the meal there is planning around the ingredients and pre-buying what is required.
  6. Budget: The finances are documented and they need to plan within a budget
  7. Food preparation: Our cooking school exposes children to a professional cooking environment that includes the preparation of healthy meals


These activities aim to normalise the experience of going to a restaurant and gives young people the confidence to apply for jobs in the hospitality industry should they choose.


Our overarching goal is individual and community transformation.  To achieve this our sub-goals are:

  1. Advocating for a healthy life-style
  2. Creating opportunities for personal capacity development
  3. Encouraging community and family participation
  4. Facilitating congenial social interactions and relationships
  5. Development of self-worth and individuality
  6. A hopeful future focus
  7. Promotion of fairness and equality
  8. Being accountable and responsive to changing community needs


  1. All children and youth are admitted to the programmes. A genogram is completed and signed with permission from parents or guardians. 
  2. All school reports are gathered and assessed and a care plan created with support from the interdisciplinary team.
  3. All programmes are pre-planned, documented and supervised by the occupational therapist. A register is kept of all youth and children attending activities.
  4. A reward system is in place for homework completion, taking responsibility or doing an act of kindness. These ‘rewards’ can be swopped for deodorant, sanitary wear, school stationery, underwear etc. at the Butterfly Shop, all assisting self-actualisation and enabling young people with ‘fitting in’.
  5. An annual program survey is undertaken with programme participants to assess the appropriateness of the programmes and a youth café is arranged to get feedback.
  6. Through the genogram programme family and community concerns are highlighted and referred to the DPH psychosocial department to manage either individually through therapeutic interventions or in group context.
  7. Monthly statistics are collated, recorded and reported.
  8. The staff attend two-weekly on-going training sessions and term, weekly and daily programme planning is done and recorded.
  9. Programme and health and safety audits are done quarterly in line with COHSASA (Council of Health Services of South Africa) standards.

6.        CONCLUSION

Over the last eight years we have noticed a number of success stories from our community. Our young clients are confident, articulate and have taken on a number of challenging tasks and succeeded. One of our many success stories is Marius, who has been attending the programmes since the beginning and comes from an environment of extreme neglect, he has been appointed head boy of his school this year.  We know that he would not have been able to cope with the academic and social pressures of this position without the support and skills development he receives from Butterfly House.  We are very proud, but this is only one story amongst many.  He has changed his destiny!

Doing life together and ‘being the change we wish to see in the world’ through celebrating and sharing cultures is our aim.  Hope has Wings.