The Butterfly Effect is a 12-week mentoring program for girls between the ages of 6 and 15 that is branched from One Touch Transformation, a non-profit organization that focuses on sexual abuse prevention and awareness. The program is designed to help prevent child sexual abuse while highlighting good touch versus bad touch. During the program, mentors focus on self-esteem while inspiring and promoting self-worth to support the development of life skills. Girls also learn the importance of loving and protecting their body.
The program started Fall of 2016 with just one girl in Florence, but has since expanded to Hartsville and Darlington. There were a total of six participants in Hartsville, four in Darlington, and seven in Florence this semester. The program is 12-weeks during the semester of the school year. During the Fall, it ranges from September-December. The program meets in Hartsville at Seersuckergypsy on Monday evenings from 6:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m., meets at the Housing Authority Facility in Darlington on Tuesday afternoons from 4:30 p.m.-6 p.m., along with a representative from the Clemson Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program, and meets at the One Touch Transformation office in Florence on Coit Street on Wednesday evenings from 6:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m.
“I feel the program is making an impact because it’s a different type of mentoring program,” says Director, Arthenius Jackson. “Most programs don’t like to even touch on the topic of sexual abuse or even introduce the topic of body safety to kids. We’re living in a time where sexual abuse is so rampart in the media and in the community and we’re taking advantage of the moment to teach these girls that their body belongs to them, and what to do just in case someone tries to touch them inappropriately. I also want to stress that we discuss other topics other than body safety, but we focus on self-worth and confidence, and to see the growth and even hear parents tell us the difference they see in their girls, lets us know we are making an impact on these girls, which will ultimately allow them to impact their homes, schools, communities etc. My favorite part of the program is seeing the growth in these girls from the time they attend the first week up until the 12th week. It’s amazing seeing them come out of their shells and blossom, or in our case, find their wings.”
The next program will start the week of January 21 and the cost is $30. Those interested can download the application online at www.onett.me and pay via paypal or cashapp $onetouchott. Applications can be turned in via email firstname.lastname@example.org or dropped off at any of the three locations (Seersuckergypsy, Housing Authority of Darlington, and One Touch Transformation office). If there are parents who are not financially able to pay the fee, there are slots set aside on a first come-first served basis.