Nelson Mandela recognised that there was something special about Terryl Mathibedi.
He wrote to her twice when she was in high school about some fundraising she had embarked on to ensure schools in her region could compete in a national newsletter competition.
Now, at the age of 33, Mathibedi is a paediatric occupational therapist and chief executive officer of Thusanani Children’s Foundation, a Gauteng-based charity that works with orphaned and abandoned babies and young children.
Thusanani’s primary goal is to identify and provide occupational therapy for children who are developmentally delayed or disabled and growing up in places of safety such as children’s homes.
She is responsible for ensuring that the organisation is run efficiently, and she’s involved in planning and executing a strategy to help maintain and grow Thusanani. Completing a social entrepreneurship programme at the Gordon Institute of Business Science has proved useful in this regard.
To Mathibedi this isn’t merely a job. “I see it as a responsibility I want to have in ensuring that all children who grow up in children’s homes are supported through mindful care and stimulation to achieve age-appropriate development and that they have the same opportunities in school and beyond as others do.”
Find Mathibedi on Twitter: @Materyh