FIRST 1000 DAYS
During the first 1,000 days, the foundations for optimum health, rapid brain growth and child development are laid. Our Bright Start initiative takes the baton on from Enable, giving parents the tools to provide a nurturing, stimulating environment for their child.
Bright Start, grounded in the world-leading research of Professor Lorraine Sherr, is bringing early childhood development support to hundreds of vulnerable children affected by HIV.
Community members are trained to deliver toy-based play sessions, applying the concept of cognitive rehearsal. Simple, repetitive tasks such as sorting shapes and doing puzzles can aid the development of visual, sensory and motor skills. Parents and caregivers are given these graded toys over multiple essions, trained in their use and how to enhance the engagement and attunement with their child.
An unexpected additional and valuable output of this initiative has come from the safe space it affords to parents and caregivers. It has enabled them to have the confidence to seek support on issues of domestic violence and child abuse.
We work closely with academic partners on both programmes to ensure that we are using validated approaches effectively.
As with all our work, the methodology involves scaling such initiatives to the point where they can be handed over to and sustained by the local government.
Our Mentor Mothers provide in-home healthcare and support that is transforming the lives of vulnerable mothers and babies, and building the foundation for a healthier future for the whole community in Mankosi, South Africa.
70% of children who live in HIV-affected households experience developmental delays and cognitive deficits. This project kick-starts cognitive development for vulnerable children in South Africa.
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