The Amazing Adventures of…
The Just Footprints Foundation is a registered Non-Profit organisation, a Public Benefit Organisation with Section 18A status and a Level 4 BEE Contributor. It was founded in February 2008 to meet the need for a unique outdoor camping experience that would provide safe and secure adventures for children with serious health and life challenges.
The founding members of the Just Footprints Foundation 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 life threatening illness or some form of trauma such as abuse, abandonment, disability or the loss of parents.
There are a number of youth programmes being offered at various camping sites in South Africa which cater for healthy, active children. Our target children, however, cannot participate due to the lack of wheelchair accessible facilities and appropriate medical support at these venues. The Just Footprints Foundation’s objective is to provide these children, who have been denied normal childhood play, with a camp experience that they would have to forgo due to their challenging circumstances.
‘Camp Footprints’ provides opportunities for these special children to participate in an amazing life-changing adventure, to 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.
Our ‘Camp Footprints’ will also be unique in that the family or guardians of the children will be invited to attend family, sibling and bereavement camp programmes. The Just Footprints Foundation plans to host siblings and family units who often feel lost and afraid during times of crisis. These camps will focus on spiritual coping mechanisms so often sought by those in pain after the loss of a child, parent, guardian or sibling.
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.
Just Footprints Foundation believes in providing equal employment opportunity and does not discriminate against its employees, volunteers or applicants because of race, colour, religion, sex, disability, national origin, age, marital status, sexual preference or orientation, medical condition, or any other legally protected class or status.
Is to provide a special journey of life-changing adventures, for each child, that will leave an imprint on their hearts with hope for the future and power them with possibility.
There are several guiding principles that are essential in creating a truly special camp experience. The Just Footprints Foundation is committed to creating an environment where each individual, child and adult, can be physically and emotionally safe, feel support and love and always be treated with kindness and respect. We are planning to host 2000 campers annually whose young lives have been interrupted by serious illness or traumatic life circumstances.
- To acquire and develop a permanent, unique, wheelchair friendly camp site of the highest architectural and safety standards that is suitable for camping adventures for the children.
- To organize and manage camps for the children at other regional venues.
- To ensure good governance, raise funds and generate income to sustain the organization.
- To work closely with other organizations who have as a major part of their activities the care and support of affected children with health challenges.
- To work closely with any organization, locally or internationally, which has similar objectives to the Foundation, and which can contribute knowledge and expertise towards the activities of the Foundation.
- To provide fun experiences and retreat opportunities for siblings and close relations of affected children when possible.
- To encourage and support guardians and family members of the children we serve.