There has been much public discourse this year about how we, as South Africans, relate to each other. Our sense, at DGMT and from our interaction in civil society, is that more and more people see the urgency of finding ways of relating and want to start doing things to bring about greater equality and prosperity for all people in South Africa.
However, the challenges facing us are significant – what can ordinary citizens and small groups of people do that can create real change and have large scale impact?
Evidence from around the world shows that there is one thing (more than anything else), that can lead to: greater equality, better education and health outcomes, a stronger economy, and a better society with less crime, public violence and greater social cohesion. That is: investing in the early development and wellbeing of children. This is really good news, because there are simple things that all of us can do to make this happen, and that will lead to real impact and long term change in South Africa.
“Create Change: What will bring the next real change in South Africa?” is an online toolkit with specific ideas, guidelines and tools that ordinary citizens and small groups of people can use to support the early development of South Africa’s children. It includes:
- A seven-minute video showing the potential of young children to change South Africa, and how important it is to include them in our networks of care and support. This video can be downloaded in high resolution on a computer hard drive for group screenings.
- An infographic that summarises the argument and suggestions made in the video, in one colourful and easy-to-follow page.
- A section explaining how we can support pregnant and new mothers during the First 1000 Days of her child’s development: This is also an easy-to-follow, step-by-step guide explaining: why the first 1000 days are important, who the mothers needing our support are, what this support might entail and how it can be provided. The guide includes tools and resources for developing a caring, supportive relationship with a pregnant or new mother. Coming very soon: A blueprint on how to use the guide and resources to facilitate a ‘kickoff session’ with a small number of people interested in connecting with new mothers as a group.
- A section showing how we can help children to love reading and stimulate their language development. This includes a delightful video showing what ordinary people have done to give children access to books and to help them to love reading. You are also invited into Nal’ibali’s world, where everything is about helping children to love reading. We have provided links to Nal’ibali’s website with quick shortcuts to help you start a reading club, become part of the Nal’ibali community and access their literacy resources.
- A section specifically aimed at people who want to organise and mobilise other people in their community in order to improve the well-being of young children. It features tools, advice and ideas on how to connect people and build networks of care for children, as well as how to mobilise and inspire people, using community media, social media, formal presentations etc.
- Lastly, a section to inspire and motivate: we tell the stories of the simple things that ordinary people did in their communities and the big impact it has made.
We hope that this resource kit can be of some use to you and/or your organisation or community. If you find any of the resources particularly useful, please would you share it within your social networks so that we can get more people involved and give them access to information and resources that might help them. Please also drop us a note (at firstname.lastname@example.org) and tell us how you are using these resources – it will not only make us really happy to have this feedback, we would also love to hear what other tools/resources you need and how we can further support individuals and communities to start changing our country.