We support 7500 children daily in 250 crèches
Early Childhood Development Projects
Our core projects focus on early childhood development. The key elements of our projects are food security and training and development. Through our projects we provide a nutritious balanced meal to our beneficiaries daily and arrange training in health, hygiene, first aid, administration and Early Childhood Development for the caregivers in the care centres. Monitoring and evaluation of the impact that the project has on the health and development of the children takes place regularly.
Feed the Babies Fund has a participative and developmental approach to working with caregivers at the centres. Care centres need to meet our minimum criteria to enlist our assistance. We conduct a baseline assessment of conditions, facilities and capacity at the centre through an on-site visit and capture pertinent information about the key indicators such as level of poverty, incidents of malnutrition, hygiene, health of children, sanitary issues, cooking and water facilities, learning aids and teaching abilities of caregivers. The information gleaned from this survey is an indicator of need and vulnerability. Such information helps us make informed deductions about our level of invention. We work with the caregivers to establish their needs and resources.
Who We Support
It is a sad reality that Kwazulu-Natal is home to the poorest districts in South Africa and leads the way in the country as regards TB and HIV/Aids being the leading cause of death.
Most concerning however is that the Department of Health confirms that countrywide, seven of the worst ten municipal districts in regard to malnutrition in children under the age of 5 years old are in KZN. These are the children that Feed the Babies Fund support. The worst hit areas in the Province; Umkhanyakude, Zululand, Ethekwini, Uthukela, Umzinyathi and Ugu, are where we focus our efforts.
The beneficiaries of our programmes in these areas; the babies and children between the ages of 4 months to 6 years old; are an extremely vulnerable and marginalised sector of the community. Most of these children are either infected or affected by HIV/AIDS.
These children are cared for in the main by grandmothers, single parents or older siblings and are sent to the crèches in the informal settlements, townships and rural areas of the Province for some measure of safety, social interaction and learning during the day. Often however without even the most rudimentary of lunch pack. For many children, the meal we provide, is their only meal of the day.
While the local crèche may provide a measure of safety for the children, they are usually poorly constructed. Those fortunate enough may have sound structures erected by local municipalities, but in the main, the crèches are housed in makeshift buildings are manned by caregivers who do not have the necessary training to take care of the children, yet alone teach them. In some instances, caregivers have converted their lowly shacks into crèches to assist the community in caring for these children.
Besides the poor structural quality of the majority of crèches, many of them are isolated and access to them is restricted due to the poor conditions of the roads. Regular visits to these crèches are impossible without the use of a 4X4 vehicle.
Many of the caregivers at the crèches lack the skills and experience to provide a safe and enriching educative environment for children. Our training programmes in health, hygiene, first aid and Early Childhood Development assist in rectifying this position.
The strategic objectives of our projects are:
- Provision of food security for the children.
- Develop the institutional capacity of the crèches.
- Provide an educative and stimulating environment for children.
Our operational objectives are:
- Provision of fortified and nutritious cereals to crèches in KZN.
- Monitor the development of the children.
- Provide mentorship and guidance on the administration of the crèche.
- Provide guidance and training in regard to hygiene and appropriate precautions when administrating first aid.
- Train the caregivers in basic ECD.