The critical first 1000 days
The first 1000 days of a child’s life are the most crucial to a child’s development. It is these early days that will determine a child’s physical, emotional and cognitive health for the rest of their life.
Stimulation, nutrition and love during the first 1000 days – from conception to around the child’s second birthday – will have a lasting impact on a person. It is imperative that children receive the proper stimulation and nutrition during this life-defining period.
In the communities Cotlands serves, both rural and urban, children have limited access, if any, to proper nutrition, resources, and age appropriate stimulation that will enable them to reach their developmental milestones.
Often children in these high-risk environments are in survival mode which severely impacts on their ability to learn and grow. The lack of proper nutrition, affection and stimulating interaction during the formative years leads to emotionally and developmentally stunted children. Recent research has shown that children who receive cognitive stimulation during the first 2 years of life can minimise the effects of alcohol foetal syndrome as well as improve social, emotional, physical and cognitive development.
Cotlands has created programmes to maximise on this crucial window of opportunity and to address the developmental gaps experienced by children in under-resources communities. The Cotlands birth to two year programme equips caregivers with the tools to stimulate their children in ways that will enhance their development.
The programme helps children strengthen muscle tone, co-ordination, and improve speech and brain development. Caregivers are taught the importance of good nutrition and were possible we partner with other organisations to provide families with nutritious food parcels.
Early stimulating experiences is not a “nice to have” but rather essential to survival and successful development.
Join us in our mission to see all children in South Africa thrive in their formative years.