First 1000 Days Nutritional Programme

Our First 1000 Days Nutritional Programme addresses the critical lack of nutrition awareness and resources amongst pregnant women from marginalised communities such as informal settlements and rural areas. Malnutrition during pregnancy can lead to adverse outcomes for both mother and child. This comprehensive initiative aims to educate and support pregnant women throughout the first 1000 days of a child’s life, emphasising nutrition, breastfeeding, and general wellbeing.

Child mortality rates, malnutrition, and neonatal deaths remain alarming in South Africa, particularly within informal settlements and rural communities.

Chronic malnutrition leads to lifelong consequences, impairing brain development and economic potential. Scientific evidence underscores the importance of preventing nutritional deficits from the outset, rather than relying on remedial measures. Exclusive breastfeeding and access to nutritious food during the critical window of the first 1000 days are pivotal.

Programme Objectives

The First 1000 Days Nutritional Programme takes a holistic approach to support pregnant women and their children through nutrition, breastfeeding, and health awareness. They key focus areas include:


  • Provide supplemental food packs for expectant and lactating mothers.

  • Conduct training sessions on the significance on nutrition during the first 1000 days.

  • Disseminate nutritional and health information through a mobile health app.

  • Train women to prepare affordable, nutritious meals for children.

  • Equip women in the community to promote good nutritional practices.


  • Train community champions for breastfeeding support.

  • Encourage exclusive breastfeeding for the first 6 months.

  • Advocate for expressing breast milk for working mothers.


  • Conduct targeted breastfeeding and foetal alcohol syndrome campaigns.


  • Train women to identify and refer children with growth issues.

  • Monitor immunisations and growth of children on the programme.


  • Offer free antenatal classes for women from under-served communities

  • Provide essential vitamin supplements to pregnant and breastfeeding women.


  • Provide vital emotional and mental wellbeing assistance.

  • Create a safe environment for mothers to share concerns and celebrate milestones.

  • Nurture both physical and emotional wellbeing of mothers and their children, ensuring a brighter and healthier future for all.

  • Empower pregnant women, support healthy child development, strengthen community bonds.

Implementation Approach

The programme involves recruiting pregnant women from marginalised communities in the Eastern Cape Region of South Africa. Key implementation steps include creating a database, developing a mobile health app, training community champions, conducting workshops, providing supplements and support, and facilitating ante-natal classes.

Expected Outcomes

The anticipated outcomes include reduced stunted growth among children, increased exclusive breastfeeding rates, improved awareness of early childhood nutrition, and enhanced health for mothers and children. This programme seeks to have a positive impact on infant mortality rates, cognitive development, disease prevention, economic prospects, and immunisation coverage.


The First 1000 Days Nutritional Programme aims to create a lasting positive impact on the health and wellbeing of children and mothers from marginalised communities. By addressing critical gaps in nutrition awareness and resources, this initiative has the potential to significantly contribute to a healthier future for both individuals and society as a whole.


The Need: Empowering Mothers for Healthy Childhoods

Meet Tumi, a resilient mother of two, residing in a cramped shack within an informal settlement in East London. Tumi’s journey is a stark reminder of the challenges faced by countless mothers in similar circumstances, struggling to provide their children with a hopeful future.