Supporting the First 1000Days

This campaign, launched in honour of Nelson Mandela Day, provides 67 ways we can start supporting families in South Africa, through the first 1000 day period in their children’s lives. Some of these ideas are so simple, you might be doing them already. Others might take some careful thinking and rallying of others around you. Pick 1 or pick 10 – this campaign is not a quick fix, but a life-long commitment to the well being of our children.

How To Participate

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Step 1: Choose
Pick a task (or 2), rally your troupes if necessary, and commit a time to make it happen.

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Step 2: Act (and Record)
Participate and take a photo or video of yourself in action!

step3Step 3: Share and Nominate
Go to our Facebook page and share the story and make sure you use the campaign hashtag #1000DayChallenge so we can track all the action.

Nominate 3 other individuals and/or organisations to join the campaign. We recommend a social media shout out if you’re brave enough. You can even nominate them for a specific task if you think they’re up for the challenge 😉

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Did you know that the first 1000 days of life (from conception to 2 years) is when the most rapid time of brain development occurs? The brain a person uses their whole life is nearly 80% developed by the time they turn 2! The adorable toddler next door may barely be able to talk and yet her brain is already well established for life-long learning.

Imagine trying to build a magnificent house, but you’re trying to erect it on a shaky crumbling foundation. If we want our children to become thriving citizens, we need to ensure they have a solid foundation laid down before their second birthday.

So how do we build strong foundations for our next generation? It’s simple! The foundations are built using four simple building blocks – love, nutrition, stimulation and safety. If a child is nurtured with these building blocks, their brain will be able to thrive! The sad reality is that more than half of South Africa’s children don’t have access to sufficient building blocks and so we lose out on the potential of these children every year! (if you want to get a better understanding of how children’s brains develop during this crucial time, we suggest you watch this video) Every generation we lose causes us to perpetuate the cycle of inequality and poverty. In the end, we ALL lose out.

Together, we can change this reality! The solution is simple, but it’s going to take all of us working together to do it. Ordinary citizens, government and supportive organisations need to come together to create the network that supports our precious children.

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