What happens in the home in the first two years after birth largely shapes whether children are still on track by Grade 4. Public services are essential, but not enough, for a child to grow and thrive. Children thrive in environments where they feel safe, are nurtured, protected and loved, and where their caregivers are supported to play an active role in their lives. In South Africa, a myriad of challenges – including poverty, gender-based violence and lack of adequate parental support programmes – present barriers for children to thrive.
We must understand the needs and norms of parents and caregivers.
We recognise and understand that caregivers cannot provide a loving and nurturing environment if they are not capacitated to do so, or if they live in an environment that actively undermines their efforts. We also appreciate that caregiving is informed by parenting beliefs that are largely shaped by culture, traditions and values. We need to understand how best to support parents and caregivers at household and community levels by leveraging existing networks and shifting dominant narratives and norms about caregiving.
Our goal is to develop networks of support for parents and caregivers to have positive impacts on children in at least 50 000 homes across South Africa.
What we are working on…
- Ensuring that caregiving happens in supportive environments.
- Expanding networks of support to vulnerable parents and caregivers.
- Shifting dominant cultural norms about caregiving.
Flagship projects addressing this opportunity
Civil society projects addressing this opportunity
These projects are by no means a comprehensive list of the work of civil society. This list represents a small selection of organisations that will be updated from time to time
Healing through play
Through their home visiting programmes, Dlalanathi aims to improve maternal well-being and children’s early development outcomes. Using play therapy to provide psychosocial support for communities in Pietermaritzburg, Dlalanathi has fostered healing for countless families. With their unique approach, they provide support not only for children but for the adults that care for them too, equipping them with the tools to better support children through their healing process.
Caring for mothers, caring for the future
PMHP aims to support the integration of quality maternal mental health care into maternal and child platforms to optimise access to health, development and social justice. PMPH’s seeks to do this by addressing the problem of widespread common mental health conditions amongst pregnant and postnatal women in low-resource settings. PMHP dooes this by supporting the integration of quality maternal mental health care into existing mother and child initiatives.
Hope. Help. Heal.
Reaching over 300 children annually, PATCH provides a holistic set of services to the survivors of child sexual abuse. These services include a 24-hour Crisis Intervention service for children during their medical examination, free, professional therapy to children in their home language, court preparation and court support as well as prevention programmes directed at parents, schools and communities. Having been operational for over 27 years, PATCH has developed a network of practitioners who have a deep knowledge of the range of trauma and abuse experienced within households.