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Soetlief Overview



Many children struggle to define and express their emotions in a positive manner. The growing need for effective emotional and social development programs prompted the development of Soetlief Programs for children, parents and teachers.

All Soetlief Programs focus on developing various skills in children to ensure that they are equipped for life.

Soetlief strives to develop leadership in all children by focusing on the development of emotional and social skills. Being a leader does not mean simply walking at the front of the line, standing on a stage or having a group of followers. Leadership is to be the best you are in every area of life where you might find yourself.

In order to produce success stories we focus on training emotional and social skills.


About the Author and Originator of the Soetlief Program

linde-gesinCynthia Linde is the author of the Soetlief program.  She married Willem Linde, a teacher, in 2002.  They have two girls, Mikela born in 2002 and Bea born in 2011.

She has completed an Honours Degree in Psychology and has been involved with youth work since 1998. She has led numerous camps, written different prevention programs and saw approximately 2 500 young people in her office between the period of 1998 - 2002. She has a Diploma in Theology and has completed several courses including: Certificate for facilitation of drug dependence – Drug Education Council, Certificate for handling serious sexual offences – Rape Wise, Advanced certificate in intensive training in play therapy – Centre of play therapy training (Dr Hannie Schoeman).

Cynthia's encounter with youth was the spark that initiated Soetlief. She found many young people either unable to identify their emotions or unable to express it appropriately. There are many emotional skills programs available for adults, but in her search to find a program to equip children emotionally she found nothing.

Cynthia started working on an emotional development program. From the case studies of all the children she saw she identified the areas in which they should have been equipped with regards to emotions. During her studies Cynthia came across a definition of emotional development that shaped the path of Soetlief: by the age of 5 a child should be able to identify, control and express in an appropriate way the four basic emotions. By the age of 12 a child should be able to identify, control and express appropriately the more complex emotions. This definition is the main goal that Soetlief strives to accomplish in children.

Emotions are abstract concepts. They are difficult for children and sometimes even for adults to understand. Soetlief has found ways to make these abstract concepts concrete and understandable to children. Children learn an emotional language which enables them to communicate their feelings. Parents are given guidance through letters and non-compulsory parental guidance workshops in order to understand this language and to better provide in the emotional need of children.

Children often experience frustration because they are unable to express their emotions because of the lack of an emotional vocabulary. When they do express their feelings, often inappropriately, they are reprimanded for wrong behaviour but never taught correct behaviour.

Children need to express their emotions and their thinking. Soetlief groups offer a non-threatening environment to express feelings and thoughts.

Name of the program

Soetlief is an Afrikaans word meaning 'sweet love'. This is a name having personal meaning to Cynthia. It inspires her to do what she does. In 1993, when she was going through a rough patch in her own life she was asked to do a play for a group of people. She chose Soetlief as the name for the character she was going to portray in the play. This was an uplifting experience for the people and their response lifted her own spirit that was heavy at that time. She knew this was what she wanted to do and the way she wanted to feel. In 1994 when she drew up a list of dreams for her life she wrote that she wanted to one day write a children's program that would assist them on their life path and she wanted to name it Soetlief.

Soetlief Presenters

Presenting a program such as Soetlief requires a competent group of presenters. Presenters are chosen according to the following criteria:
• 1. Qualification
• 2. Experience in working with children
• 3. Passion to work with children

All our presenters are qualified in one or more of the following areas:
1. Psychology
2. Social Work
3. Teaching
4. Play Therapy
5. Child related qualifications / courses

Competent presenters add to the credibility of the program.



Community Involvement

The Soetlief Program is presented in schools in disadvantaged communities.


As part of promoting community empowerment and socio-economic development, the program will be presented by people from the community, under supervision.


We are currently involved in:


1. Shiloh School Klipheuwel

We have been presenting the Soetlief Program at Shiloh in Klipheuwel since 2013. Shiloh is expanding their community schools to Wallacedene in 2017 and we have been requested to run the program at the new school.

The program empowers children with Soft Skills. We’ve had great testimonies from the teachers, community, principal and kids. The Soetlief Program teach kids the Soft Skills needed for survival in the job-market of the 21st century. Companies investing in the Soetlief Soft Skills Training of children is investing in the workforce of tomorrow


2. Ruyterwacht Project

The Soetlief Program has been involved in Ruyterwacht since 2013. Mattie Livesey has been working in the community since 2012.

At the beginning of 2016 a Day Care Centre and After-care was started. People from the community, serving as volunteers has been trained and equipped to work with the children. In 2017 the program will be presented to children from the facility and community.

As part of promoting community empowerment and socio-economic development, the program will be presented by people from the community, under supervision, to present the program.


If you are an individual or company that is interested in sponsoring kids in the Soetlief Program you can contact Cynthia Linde


The programs does have an NPO numbers that can be used for tax deduction purposes.

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