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Event Details
Starfish for Sofia

Sofia's Story

Listen to our interview on Cape Talk

Listen to the interview on the The Pippa Hudson Show on CapeTalk by clicking the button below.

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Starfish for Sofia

Starfish for Sofia

About

Sofia passed away on 20 December 2014 by drowning, just after her 2nd birthday. Sofia’s mommy decided that she wanted to start a charity organisation in Sofia’s memory to prevent other families from going through the unbearable pain that she is experiencing right now.

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Starfish for Sofia

Sofia's Story

Sofia was my daughter

She was conceived via in vitro fertilisation on 19 March 2012 after my husband and I struggled for two years to fall pregnant naturally. Sofia was born on 12 December 2012 at 19h25, birth weight 4.34kg and length 50cm.

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Starfish for Sofia

About Starfish for Sofia

Starfish for Sofia was created by Sofia’s mommy Claire. Sofia passed away on 20 December 2014 by drowning, just after her 2nd birthday. As a result, shortly after her death and following the numerous news reports of children of a similar age drowning over the festive season, Sofia’s mommy decided that she wanted to start a charity organisation in Sofia’s memory to prevent other families from going through the unbearable pain that she is experiencing right now.
The aim of Starfish for Sofia is to raise funds and connect with swimming instructors across South Africa, to send underprivileged children under the age of 3 years countrywide for survival swimming classes. These classes last about 6 to 8 weeks, in which babies and toddlers learn to turn over and float on their backs with their arms and legs outstretched (like a starfish) when they fall into a body of water and stay relaxed in that position until somebody can come and rescue them. Sofia’s mommy never had the time or finances to send Sofia for these classes, and she firmly believes that if she had, Sofia might have had a chance of survival. Sofia’s mommy also feels that if she can prevent just one family from experiencing what she is currently going through, then she will have honoured her baby girl's memory. Starfish for Sofia is in the process of being formed (NPC registrations, tax exemptions, business bank accounts, finding premises, employing a personnel team to handle the admin and so on). Please see our other tabs for more details.

Sofia's Story

Sofia was my daughter. She was conceived via in vitro fertilisation on 19 March 2012 after my husband and I struggled for two years to fall pregnant naturally.

Sofia was born on 12 December 2012 at 19h25, birth weight 4.34kg and length 50cm.

I had changed career paths by then, going from being a teacher up until 2011 to studying as a full-time student for a Bachelor of Speech-Language and Hearing Therapy at the beginning of 2012.
Being a full-time mommy, wife and student is serious business. My marriage was a rocky one. Due to various personal marital issues over the last two years, my husband and I began divorce proceedings in early December last year.

We decided that, as Sofia had spent her birthday party with me, that he would take her to Tulbagh to friends of ours from 20 December through the week of Christmas, and would return on 29 December, whereupon I would collect my car and Sofia from the airport so that he could catch his flight to return to Spain and I could bring Sofia home.
Needless to say, our life was turned upside down. On the day Sofia and her daddy arrived in Tulbagh, they both had an afternoon nap and Sofia slipped out of the bedroom unnoticed.
She fell into the koi pond and drowned only minutes before her daddy realised she was not in the room.

She died on 20 December 2014, at the age of 2 years, 1 week and 1 day. Only 5 days before Christmas. Sofia was the most incredibly alive and vibrant little girl.

Video

News24 Interviews

Affiliated Swimming Schools

Starfish for Sofia has affiliated swimming school in 5 of the 9 provinces of South Africa!

School Name Contact Person Contact Number Email Town/Suburb
Aqua Turtles Swim School Gabby Marchesi Metcalf 011 4632201 info@aquaturtles.co.za Bryanston, JHB
AquatechniquesSA   0721403102 aquatechniquessa@gmail.com Somerset West, CT
Aquazel Swim School Izelle Truter Wolmarans     Bloemfontein
Cindy's Academy of Swimming Cindy De Oliveira 083 258 7733 or 021 981 0101 info@cindsacademyofswimming.co.za Brackenfell
Dory's Swim School Taryn Gladd 0715412825 doryswimschool@hotmail.com Kloof, Forest Hills
First Strokes Swim School Mandy Dragt 0722881523 myfirststrokes@gmail.com Glen Anil, Durban
Headstart Swim School Rochelle Fourie 021 677681 headstartswim@gmail.com Claremont
Knysna Swimming Academy Karen Ferguson     Knysna
Learn2Swim Theresa Olwage Hohls 0824193244 olwage6@gmail.com Greytown
Little Mermaids Swim School Rushana Charels 074 519 4006 or 021 393 6592 info@littlemermaids.co.za Standfontein, CT
Marmalade Splash Genevieve De Freitas 0823367825 splash.marmalade@gmail.com Chartwell, JHB
Onpoint Swim School Jill or Bruce 071 482 9629 or 082 464 7496 jbfortuin@gmail.com Strand,CT
Rellyn Faisinger Detlof-Wismer 0811463227    
Swimmattix Swim School Matt Pike 0760579768 info@swimmattix.com Pinelands, CT
Swimrite  Adelle 0823590795 adellep@mweb.co.za Moot area, Pretoria
Swimrite  Olivia Middleton   mddoli001@gmail.com Brooklyn, Pretoria
Swimsafe Academy Cindy Roux Basson 0620663832 cindy@swimsafeacademy.co.za Graaf- Reinet
Tweni Swim School Rachel Sparkman 0833403316 tweniswimschool@gmail.com Umtweni

If you run a swimming school and would like to become affiliated to Starfish for Sofia, or if you have indicated that you want to and your name is not yet on the list, kindly send an email to info@starfishforsofia.co.za

Volunteer

Become a Volunteer
Starfish for Sofia needs all the help it can get!

Should you wish to volunteer specialised services, become a swim buddy to be in the water with children during lessons, transport children from their homes to the swimming schools, or if you would like to be added to our general volunteer list and be contacted when we need an extra pair of hands for admin or fundraising; kindly send an email to volunteer@starfishforsofia.co.za

Contact Us

Starfish for Sofia wants to stay in contact with you!
Kindly send an email to one of the following addresses and we will endeavour to reply within 24 hours:

Sofia’s mommy Claire: claire@starfishforsofia.co.za
Rosalie our office administrator: rosalie@starfishforsofia.co.za
Tashia our office administrator: tashia@starfishforsofia.co.za
General enquiries: info@starfishforsofia.co.za
Corporate sponsors: corporate@starfishforsofia.co.za
Donations: donations@starfishforsofia.co.za
Volunteers: volunteer@starfishforsofia.co.za


Pop in for a visit and a cup of coffee! Our offices are situated at Unit 20A in Langenhoven street in Durbanville, Western Cape. Office hours are 08h00 to 13h00 at present
Like our page on Facebook: www.facebook.com/starfishforsofia
Read our tweets on Twitter: starfish4sofia
Our Telkom lines are being installed next week – we will upload our numbers as soon as we get them!

Events

Launch Event


Join us for an evening of dinner, dancing and entertainment at the Starfish for Sofia launch! Your ticket includes an amazing buffet dinner, live entertainment and dancing, as well as a complimentary drink on arrival. Dress code is formal eveningwear, so shake the creases out of those beautiful evening gowns and dapper suits! Our host and MC is Dr Darren Green, the celebrity “Singing Doctor” and Idols finalist; while entertainment for the evening includes a fun photo booth, jazz singing, bellydancers, Bollywood dancing, interactive drumming, fire poi/fire dancers, visual LED poi, as well as the firing of the cannons on the hill outside the restaurant! DJ Patrick Vee from Sound Events will be keeping us on the dance floor all night. There will be an auction of amazing items in order to raise funds for the organisation, for which credit card facilities and a computer for EFT payments will be made available. You can even bid at the auction to fire one of the cannons! We are really looking forward to seeing you there - do book now before the tickets are sold out!