By Besima Halilovic
The Butterfly House is a non-profit organization that provides housing for families from all over Spain, as well as other countries, whose child is battling cancer. The name of “The Butterfly House” is actually ‘La Casa Dels Xuklis.’ The house consists of two floors. The first floor provides families with a kitchen, laundry room, dining and living room, which are all common areas. The first floor also includes individual family apartments. The second floor consists of two rooms: one is used for entertainment for the families, and second room is used for teaching/education of the children. The house has 25 apartments for the families with children up to 18 years of age. The property is surrounded by a garden, flowers, and outside sitting area, as well as a meditation room. The meditation room is used for meditation for employees as well as for parents, and also as a ‘calming room’ for parents in crisis. It is separate from the main house.
Visiting the Butterfly House has been an inspirational experience that has changed my perspective when it comes to working with the most vulnerable population (children) battling cancer. I also believe that our tour guide, who is a Clinical Psychologist, couldn’t have been a better example of a professional who cares and truly loves her job. Her demeanor and her tone of voice were comforting to me as an individual as well as a future social worker. Working with children who are battling cancer can be emotionally challenging. The Clinical Psychologist, Pepa Gonzalez, helped me realize that I can acknowledge my emotions without negatively impacting care for the clients.
“It is possible to be human and a professional at the same time.”