Ashlyn Klinkradt was just 13 years old when she founded Raising Hope South Africa with a vision to make the world a better place for children and families affected by disabilities.
Ashlyn’s younger brother David was born just after her second birthday, and following his birth the family were told that Doctors suspected David had Down syndrome, a genetic condition with distinctive physical features, intellectual disability, and various associated health conditions.
As Ashlyn’s parents navigated this new journey, so did she, attending therapy appointments with her baby brother, and learning what his world would involve. As Ashlyn grew older, she realised that not all children with disabilities have access to the same services, care and opportunities as David did, and at the age of 6 years old she decided to help other families.
Her first fundraiser involved asking for donations from friends instead of for birthday presents, and these she donated to the local Down Syndrome Association. These birthday fundraisers became an annual event for the next 4 years.
When Ashlyn was 8 years old she joined a programme run by the Chaeli Campaign, called the Pay-It-Forward Ambassadors programme. This social entrepreneurship programme helped Ashlyn to grow her projects and take on different events. She held fundraisers, did awareness talks, and even put on a play. As the size of her projects grew, she felt the need to establish her own space, and so she founded Raising Hope SA.
Is to contribute to a world and environment where individuals and families impacted by disabilities can experience life to the fullest at home, in the community, in school, and in the workplace.
We strive for a world where disability becomes a possibility and the differently-abled community in South Africa can be embraced, celebrated, and valued.
We aim to give hope to individuals and families impacted by disabilities through creating awareness and providing opportunities that allow them to experience life to the fullest at home, in the community, in school and in the workplace.
We operate from a perspective of Christian values and ethos, celebrating others and acting out of love. We aim to uncover, develop and support the possibilities that arise from embracing the unique identities of our individuals and families and from recognizing the strength inherent in each of us.