About Us.

Our Story

We are a national initiative that strives to empower children and adolescents by providing them with the necessary support to overcome the unique challenges they face in today’s world.


At 09h36 on Friday, 12th August 2005, Jessica Talia Yaffah Matheson, started her life here on Earth. She was an absolutely gorgeous baby with big dimples and the sweetest smile and a healthy 3.45 kg.  The staff at the hospital gave her Zulu name, “Buhle” meaning “Beauty”.  The next day, her first day of life, Jessica was given the TB vaccine. That night Jessica cried all night… and all the nurses could tell me is that it was from the vaccine and it would blow over. The next morning, the doula came to visit and was shocked at how high her temperature was.  She was not well and we needed her to get treated immediately.

She was taken into ICU where she had to have a lumber punch and various other tests to see what the problem was.  She apparently had an infection in her lungs and was given intravenous antibiotics. After 5 days of back and forth to the hospital, and the good care of the nurses, Jessica was ready to come home. Steven and I were beyond excited to welcome our angel. However due to the large amounts of antibiotics she was given, Jessica then developed a terrible thrush and nappy rash and was in enormous discomfort for those first few days and weeks of her life. Thankfully this did eventually heal and Jessica was healthy in every way, feeding and sleeping well and just generally being completely adorable.


When Jessica was 6 months old, I fell pregnant again, and on the 6th November 2006, her sister Natasha, was born. Jess was happy to have a friend, and so began our life as a family of four. Steven and I had unfortunately not had the best relationship as a married couple, and we fought a lot. This affected our children of course and by the time Jessica was 2 years old she was in therapy. She was always a very sensitive and special child, absorbing her environment. Jessica continued to have intensive therapy until she was an adolescent.


When Jessica was 7 and her sister was 6, we got divorced, and I moved to a new home. The first few months were rough and it took its toll on everyone. Jessica struggled with the reality of divorced parents and it came up for her many times in therapy how she battled to consolidate her needs in two separate homes.


By the age of 14 we both had no idea that she was suffering with serious Bulimia.  She hid it well under her beautiful smile.  It was when she started cutting herself, and speaking of suicide that we needed to take immediate action.  We were referred to a clinic and Jessica was admitted for the inhouse youth programme which is an intensive 21 day programme focused on mental health issues and eating disorders.  Jessica was diagnosed with Bipolar and a second diagnosis confirmed this.  She was administered medication, and once the course was complete, Jessica came home and slowly started to integrate back into her life.

The medications seemed to be working and for the first time in a long time, I was able to have a normal relationship with my daughter. Things started to really improve, and Jessica as always tried her best to succeed in every area of her life.  She was an amazing girl. Kind, caring, compassionate, funny, smart and had an emotional depth to her that was very special.  Everyone who got to know her, or even just meet her were charmed by her presence.

She was also extremely talented, and won the Idols singing contest when she was 13, participated in all the school plays, and was offered the lead roles in her school play 2021 – The Little Shop of Horrors.  She shone as always, but what we did not know and only found out afterwards, was that the pressure of the play, and school, and all the social pressure was very intense for her, and she re-developed her eating disorder.   This disorder is very disruptive.  She was plagued with binge eating and Bulimia.  Jessica eventually confessed to me that she was making herself bring up her food up to 5 times a day.   Her health was suffering, and definitely her mental health, it was making her very depressed.   Those few months were so difficult for brave Jessica.  Not only was she suffering with Bipolar disorder, she was now also fully bulimic and cutting herself again.  We had to book her back into a clinic, and so we did.   This time she joined the EDU Unit for eating disorders.   The treatment did stop her bulimia, but it was not easy, and the three weeks that she was there was extremely difficult for her.

Going back to school was worrying for us all.  She was in a very delicate state after the course and going back to school would prove to be even worse for her.  She did Term 3 at home, online. But she was aware that online studying was not ideal and she needed to get back into the classroom.  Being the high achiever and studious girl she was, she forced herself back.   She continued through school but was met with another huge blow when her best friends all turned against her due to a misunderstanding that had occurred with one of the girls.  This did not die down, but instead, escalated to the point where Jessica was being ignored and bullied by the people that used to be her friends.   I spoke to the social workers and to the mothers of these nasty kids telling them to do something to help Jessica but nothing was done, and we also attempted to get her out of the school to get her away from the hostility but she had to write her exams and it had to be done. 

The first day of the fourth term, Jessica put on a brave face and went to school.  She was staying with her dad at the time, and at about 1am that night I got a call from her… to come there “Mom, I tried to drown myself in the bath but it didn’t work. Please come here”.  I rushed over there as fast as I could and Jessica was lying in the bath, plastic wrapped around her face. She had intended to drown herself in the bath and by some stroke of Divine intervention, it had not worked.  Steven and I were relieved and distraught at the same time. Jessica struggled through the final term of grade 4.  Spending breaks in the councilor’s offices or in the toilets crying her eyes out, but pushed on.  She was a high achiever and had big plans for herself and was not going to allow herself to fail.  She was amazing and still is. At the same time we applied for her to go to another school and she was accepted.  That December I sent Jessica to Cape Town to spend time with her friends… she was accepted and was so happy about moving schools.


She started Grade 11 there with great enthusiasm and all was going well.   Jessica made new friends, and reaffirmed her worth and sense of self.  She was doing great, and we were all so glad to have our girl smiling again. Although Term one went very well for Jessica. She had made new friends, was smiling and succeeding in her studies. She was still being plagued by mental health issues that eventually drove her to commit suicide on the 20th April 2022.  She was 16 years old.

Jessica was an incredible girl who lit up any room she walked into.  She loved helping people and was a very good counselor herself.  I would often hear Jessica late at night counseling friends who were down or depressed.  No matter what it took she would stay on the phone with them until they felt better. She believed in therapy and healed herself in many ways by her own hard work and dedication.  She understood the depths of pain and suffering and was incredibly compassionate and had a pure heart.  She left us all with rich memories and experiences and we were blessed to have been her parents.  She was one in a million special!   She still is and I feel her with me everyday. I am so proud of the girl she grew up to be.  She is now my heavenly angel, and I feel her presence with me everyday.  I was and am still incredibly blessed.