Children all over the world have the same potential for growth and cognitive development in early childhood. The nutrition necessary to realize this common potential is a birth right of every child. Children aged 0-5 years are the group worst affected by malnutrition in South Africa. Stunting, which results from poor nutrition and disease, affects over a quarter of children under five. Stunted children are unjustly deprived, not only in terms of reaching their full growth potential, but more importantly, of achieving their full cognitive potential.
Stunted children start Primary School with reduced capacity for learning and processing new information. The impairment to brain development caused by stunting in early childhood persists later into life. There is a comprehensive body of research showing that children stunted at the age of 2 years are severely disadvantaged in terms of their learning ability for the rest of their lives. They tend to start school later, perform worse on tests for reading and intelligence, achieve lower grades and are more likely to drop out of school than their non-stunted counterparts. In adulthood, they tend to live in poorer households, attain lower occupational status, earn less, and suffer higher rates of diabetes and obesity.
We are adding to their chances to survive, develop and thrive. We are giving the children on our nutrition and education programme a chance to start their Primary School education as well prepared, physically fit children.
Zero2Five, formerly Futurelife Foundation, provides over 100 unfunded and under-resourced Early Childhood Development Centres in marginalized communities with highly nutritious, daily Futurelife meals, recycled furniture, playgrounds, mobile libraries and stationery. We also assist the ECD practitioners in facilitating necessary changes required in order to register with the Department of Social Development by introducing them to the Bhalisa Inkhulisa application pack by NGO Ilifa Labantwana. This pack contains all the information and guidance on the required documentation that ECD centres need when applying for partial care registration. It guides applicants through filling in forms, as well as collecting supporting documentation. Most of these centres are situated in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Through our partnership with City Hope Disaster Relief, we also reach destitute children outside of South Africa.
King Cetshwayo District: