iThemba Projects, focuses with community leaders on four things that research has shown will make the biggest change the lives of kids, and improve the economic success of our nation:
Education and Play: Giving children access to quality early childhood development (ECD), especially in the first 1000 days of life. They do this through mentoring 27 local teachers in ECD, as well as working with 100 care-givers to provide quality ECD at home.
Nutrition: Giving children a sustainable source of nutrition to reduce stunting and promote food security and brain development, especially in the first 1000 days of life. They do this through helping 400 homes start organic permaculture gardens, and partnering with local ECD sites and schools to create school-based permaculture gardens.
Love: Giving children a loving adult role model they can turn to when they struggle, who can listen to them and support them. Mentors are motivated by the love of Jesus to help young people become all they were created to be. Research shows just one caring adult relationship can help at-risk youth overcome challenges that overwhelm their peers. We do this through teaching Life skills to 1200 grade 7, 8’s and 9’s, running weekend and holiday programs, and after-school running club and Life Groups.
Job Skills: Creating jobs and skills for adults while increasing ECD access and safe environments for children through eco-friendly construction in the community. They have trained 16 previously unskilled and unemployed community members in rammed-earth construction methods, and are almost complete with their own community centre. This team will go on to build more ECD sites or start their own businesses.
These four things: quality ECD, Nutrition, and Social, Emotional, and Spiritual support combine in a holistic way to build the resilience children need to overcome the challenges they face and become leaders in transforming our society.
Their work is driven by a model of sustainable change which shows once 65-70% of a group is reached with a new behavior, this creates a new norm. We imagine a Sweetwaters where it is normal for children to receive quality ECD, to have nutritious food, and a loving adult they can turn to when they face challenges in life.
We’re looking for more people to join us in this mission of lasting change!
When you make a purchase and choose to “tip” and support Jayce's Classic Spares at checkout those funds go to iThemab projects and you are a part of this story.
If you would like to partner in larger ways, more information found on our website: www.ithembaprojects.org.za