The First Thousand Days (FTD) are a never-to-be-repeated window of development; a period in which the brain reaches 80% of its adult size. While the brain continues to develop thereafter, and we can learn throughout our lives, it’s in the early stages that the emotional, physical and mental foundations for the future are set. Tragically, up to half of children in our nation don’t receive enough of the love, stimulation, nutrition, safety, and good healthcare in this vitally important phase that they need to thrive, limiting their ability to reach their innate potential. Yet many people are simply unaware of the FTD and their importance. Through our #FTDonTheMap Campaign you can create this awareness and raise support for Sikunye – an organisation that equips faith communities to care for children in the FTD.

Our goal is to raise R125 000 so that Sikunye can continue to spread the message about the First Thousand Days and empower communities to support families, with positive outcomes for their children. Your donations will help spread the message of the FTD through Community Mobilisers – literally ‘boots on the ground’ in communities in which families face additional barriers and risks for consistent care for their young children – and to strengthen Sikunye’s existing communities in supporting families through:

  • Home-visiting training – equipping and supporting individuals to reach out to families in their communities
  • Monthly training to equip faith communities to strengthen families
  • Monthly check-in times with key volunteers to inspire and support them

Just as it takes a village to raise a child, it takes each one of us to step, stroke or pedal towards this goal!

The Starting Line

Here’s how to get involved:

  1. Sign up: Snap, EFT or check out your ‘participation fee’. While we suggest R90 (R10 for each month of pregnancy) you’re welcome to give more, or what you can!

2. Make sure that you have Strava, Relive, Adidas Running or another route map app loaded on your phone or tracking device. Not sure how to download these apps, or which to go for? Check out our quick summary here.

3. Set up: Map your letter on your next run, walk, cycle or swim! There are 17 letters in “First Thousand Days” so pick yours, or tackle a whole word (yes, that’s a dare).

4. Take a screenshot of your mapped letter and post it to your social channels using the hashtag #FTDonTheMap and tagging @sikunye_sa (IG) or (FB). Want some ideas for a message to include with your mapped letter? See our post copy cheat sheet here. Not on social media, or don’t want to use it? Send your mapped letter to + 27 64 923 1301.

5. Level up: Tag a friend (or five) to do the next letters in the phrase! Together we can put the FTD on the map. That’s it! You’ve reached the finish line.