Our newest CALI award winner is Dalice Kennedy, the founder and Chief Executive of The Butterfly Movement Ltd Charity. After a life changing trip to Kenya, Dalice launched Soles4Souls Australia to help break the poverty cycle.
Q: Tell us about Soles4Souls Australia (The Butterfly Movement Ltd)
Dalice: The Butterfly Movement Ltd, trading as Soles4Souls Australia, is a charity I founded following my experience in Kenya during 2010-2011. The primary purpose of Soles4Souls Australia is to collect gently worn or new shoes, and distribute them to people who are disadvantaged through lack of footwear.
We do this in both Australia and developing countries, improving health and increasing opportunities for education, employment and sport. Often overlooked as a mere fashion accessory, shoes are integral to health and wellbeing on multiple levels, including:
- Helping to prevent cuts and scratches which are painful and can lead to infection
- Reducing the risk of parasite infections which are highly prevalent in African countries
- The ability to attend school
- The ability to gain and keep employment
- The ability to participate in sports
Shoes are a key tool in helping to break the poverty cycle. Through several programs, the shoes we distribute help people on a one-on-one basis, as well as on an economic level through micro-enterprise. It is never just a hand out.
Q: What inspired you to set up Soles4Souls Australia (The Butterfly Movement Ltd)?
Dalice: While volunteering in rural Kenya, I watched as a young girl aged around 10 years, had her heels and toes cut with a razor to extract the parasites that were burrowed into her feet. That same razor, in a country with high prevalence of HIV AIDS, was used on more than one child. That day in Kenya changed my life forever.
How could I possibly see and experience such poverty and tragedy, then return to my own life unchanged and unwilling to make a bigger difference to the world and others? Returning to Australia I set-up The Butterfly Movement Ltd, which is about the impact we can, and do have, on the lives of others through our own actions.
The name ‘The Butterfly Movement’ was inspired by the Butterfly Effect theory: It is said that when a butterfly flaps its wings on one side of the world, it can create a hurricane on the other side. It is about the impact of our thoughts, words and actions on others.
Q: What are you aiming to achieve?
Dalice: To contribute to the world and others, to have passion for life and learning, to be inspired and inspire others – this is why I get out of bed and do the work that I do. My goal and vision for The Butterfly Movement is to have a positive impact on the lives of others – one person at a time.
Using The Butterfly Movement Ltd as a conduit I hope to inspire others through the powerful impact they can, and do have, in this world creating connection, purpose and passion.
Q: What difference do the shoes make to the people you give them to?
Dalice: We support people in Australia and globally which has many benefits for the individual and the community including:
- Improved health of individuals
- Increased school attendance
- Improved health and wellbeing at a community level
- Increased income of micro-enterprise program recipients, impacting overall wellbeing of their family and community
- Increased participation in organised community sport
- Potential increase in Indigenous Australians competing in sport at an elite level
- Improved outcomes of community run health, sport and fitness programs
Q: What is something you are really proud of achieving?
Dalice: Since the inaugural shoe drive I have been touched by the people, their stories, their compassion and their commitment. People are very generous when given the opportunity and avenue to contribute.
In addition to the incredible milestone achievements, I am most proud of the number of people we have been able to reach. It is because of this network of connections we have:
- Collected more than 100,000 pairs of shoes from all Australian states and territories
- Donated collected shoes to people in Australia, Africa and most recently Vanuatu
- Engaged hundreds of volunteers who have given thousands of hours to collecting, sorting, packing and transporting shoes
- Saved approx. 50,000kgs of potential waste from prematurely ending up in landfill, consistent with global sustainability initiatives
Q: What drives you?
Dalice: I feel deeply connected and inspired by the work that I do. My experience in Kenya really has changed my life and world perspective, and I am continually meeting inspiring and talented people. I am incredibly grateful that I love what I do, and do what I love.
Q: Do you feel there is reward in your efforts?
Dalice: Absolutely! There is a great gift you receive when you contribute to the world and others.
Q: If you had your way, everyone in the world would spend 5 minutes a day…
Dalice: Sitting completely still and in silence (no music, no phones, no technology).
Dalice started her career as a Public Relations Consultant for a leading PR consultancy then as a Business Development and Communications Manager for one of South Australia’s largest charities, before taking herself to Kenya for three months as a volunteer, then launching The Butterfly Movement Ltd.
Spend time with Dalice and you will quickly realise she has that spark that propels people to do amazing things that make the world a better place. Her passion for contribution has shaped her life and career. Dalice is committed to empowering others and highlighting the impact our thoughts, words and actions have on others and the world.