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Just Footprints Foundation – www.justfootprints.org.za
The Just Footprints Foundation was founded in February 2008 specifically to meet the need for a unique outdoor camping experience that would provide safe and secure adventures, always free of charge, for children with serious health and life challenges.
The founding members of JFF are CHOC Childhood Cancer Foundation South Africa, The Reach For A Dream Foundation (children with life-threatening illnesses), Cotlands (children infected/affected with HIV) and the Hope (Ithemba) Trust (special needs children). These four experienced NPOs have secure relationships with key medical communities and other charitable organisations. All parties have specific interests and expertise in the psycho-social wellbeing of children whose young lives have been interrupted by illness or traumatic life circumstances.
Just Footprints provides opportunities for these children to participate in an amazing life-changing adventure and learn new skills through intentional programming, to develop confidence and enhance their self-esteem in a safe and nurturing ‘fun’ camp environment. Our campers are encouraged to be fearless, to escape, fantasize and be joyful kids once again.
The programmes and activities are facilitated by trained staff and young adult volunteers and include a reflective component aimed at helping campers discover, understand and generalise their learning.
Through the support of donors ‘Camp Footprints’ is planning to develop a unique, first of its kind camp site in the newly designated Dinokeng Big 5 Game Reserve north of Pretoria. The camp will be designed for fun with a therapeutic impact; a camp that will positively change lives and will include:
- an eco-friendly infrastructure;
- a medical facility;
- an eco science centre
- facilities for disabled and wheelchair users; and
- professional medical staff, counsellors and volunteers who offer psycho-socio support for all the campers.
Each camper receives a Camp Footprints Tshirt, peak, bandana, goodie bag with water bottle and toiletries. The children will be identified from the four founding partners and other associated organisations and will include children diagnosed with cancer and blood disorders, other life threatening illnesses, disabilities and infected/affected with HIV. Intellectually and physically disabled children will also be offered the opportunity to participate at Camp Footprints.
To date, JFF has hosted 12 camps for 650 children with cancer-related illness and infected/affected with HIV in Gauteng, KwaZulu Natal and the Western Cape. 147 young adult volunteers have been trained and have participated in these camps to mentor and support the campers.
JFF’s vision is to provide a special journey of life-changing experiences for each child that will leave an imprint on their hearts with hope for the future. In turn, each child will leave an imprint of their footprint at the camp in support of those who will follow.