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One of the privileges of the work we do is we get to meet passionate, amazing people from all over the country! After more than two years of being online and running events on Zoom, we returned to the Breede Valley. It was wonderful to meet and see people in person. For many attendees, it was the first time we have seen each other face to face and this was a treat.

Together with the Do More Foundation team, we organised an in-person practical workshop for churches from the Breede Valley. We invited various stakeholders, service providers, and churches to join in. The big idea was to help churches or faith-based organisations get to know who or what is available in their area to help them better care for and strengthen families in the First Thousand Days (FTD.) With the various FTD service providers present, we were able to discuss how we can collaborate with and refer to each other to create a web of support for families from pregnancy to their child’s 2nd birthday (and beyond).

This value is core to the Do More Foundation’s work to see ‘collaborative partnerships to “create better tomorrows” for the young children of South Africa.’  Similarly, as Sikunye, we equip local churches to collaborate and refer in order to help mothers, fathers, and caregivers get the much-needed support they need to help them provide the responsive nurturing care their children need to thrive.

Wonderfully, local churches exist in an ecosystem of resources and services for families in the First Thousand Days. This means that churches don’t have to do everything or be everything to help parents. But this does require churches to get to know who is in the community and to look for ways to join hands with the relevant stakeholders. Why? Because all families need support, and some families need all the support they can get. At times some families need more support, through referrals, resources, and tailored services.

In the Breede Valley, there are several agencies that are working around the First Thousand Days and who joined hands with us to be at the workshops. These organisations include:

During the workshop, church leaders, children’s ministry leaders, and FTD team members were introduced to these service providers, and with the use of a case study went around the room to find out who can assist, and how they could practically assist a mother and her baby. This helped everyone to better understand who is in the Breede Valley area and who they can refer to and collaborate with, to provide extra targeted support for mothers, fathers, and caregivers.

It was a fantastic morning of re-engaging, meeting new people and connecting the dots. For many this was the first time that they had heard about the various stakeholders around the room. Everyone left with contact details and materials that they can practically use in their context as they seek to care for families in the FTD.

There is so much good work happening in Breede Valley! But if we are truly going to ensure that ‘no child is left behind’ then this demands that we all play our part, and we engage with all sectors of society. Because it really does take ‘a modern-day village to raise a child’, especially when we understand the adversities and hardships that parents are facing to see their young children grow up healthy and strong.

A big thank you to NG Gemeente Worcester-Vallei ( for opening their venue and hosting this event. We appreciate you making your venue available and partnering in this way to see us all come together.

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