At Thula Baba Project we equip disadvantaged mothers with the knowledge and tools they need in their role as first nurturers and educators, to raise our future leaders.
Our incentive driven programme currently consists of two 8-week courses: Antenatal and Baby Care (0-6 months). Over time this will be expanded to Toddler Care (6-24 months) and preschoolers (3-4 years). Our dream is for every baby born in Cape Town to be school-ready by the age of 5.
The 4 guiding principlesthat drive our intervention are:
- Keeping baby healthy and safe. Preventing the spread of illnesses and creating safe places for baby to sleep and play.
- Early stimulation for developing minds.We teach and encourage moms to sing and read to their babies from the beginning. Explorative play is key to ensuring school readiness and better academic achievements.
- Good nutritionfrom pregnancy, through breast-feeding to early solids. Preventing FAS (Foetal Alcohol Syndrome) and stunting – creating the foundation for healthy bodies and minds.
- Bonding with baby. Creating strong attachments. Key to developing confident children who grow up into caring people. Confident children are able to learn new things more easily.
The incentive is the Thula Baba Bucket. A practical 25l plastic bucket filled with carefully selected items that support the principles covered in the classroom. Equipping the mother to reach the key growth and development milestones for her baby.
Currently we offer this program to women in the gang-ridden Southern Peninsula of Cape Town through our partner, The Zoe Project, at Retreat Maternity Unity and at Mowbray Maternity Hospital. We plan to expand this to include the Hanover Park Maternity Unit in the coming year. These 3 Maternity units witness approximately 1000 births a month.
We have equipped 200 mothers in our first year of operations starting this project in November 2017 until end 2018. We plan to equip a further 250 mothers in 2019. The impact of equipping one mother extends to all the children that women has contact with within her sisterhood.