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Community based parent support using ECD principals as facilitators

Sakha Esthu - Parent Support Programme

location_on South Africa
A collaborative project between UNICEF, Nelson Mandela University, The Department of Health & Early Inspiration gave rise to parent support group across the city under the name, Sakha Esethu. This community based initiative can be best described as a gathering which provides mutual support for caregivers and parents on burning health issues and parent support through dialogue and conversation.
“The name Sakha Esethu means that together we can build each other. Everyone is welcome and no one is excluded.”

HundrED has not validated this innovation

Anyone can submit their innovation to HundrED Open. All information on this page is provided by the innovator and has not been checked by HundrED. Innovation page has been created by Jessica Ronaasen on March 11th, 2020
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Updated on May 5th, 2021
about the innovation

Breastfeeding support groups with ECD Principals as facilitators

What we do?

 Sakha Esethu can be best described as a gathering which provides mutual support for caregivers of children on burning health issues through dialogue and conversation. This is a 6 – 8 month programme which encourages training and mentorship by a trained faciliator. Sakha Esethu means "It starts with us, we’re building our own". This active phrase emphasises the active role that community members, mothers, fathers, teachers or grandparents - anyone interacting with children can assist in the development of a child. We have developed resources to host small discussions with parents and community members. Sakha Esethu includes all genders and seeks to promote community participation by utilising the energy of trained community mentors and competent caregivers.

Free online resources have been developed to host short discussions with parents and community members. The interactive website has been created as a platform to access resources and training materials to host your own conversations and gatherings. As a result of the skills development initiative, mentoring and support there are mentors in Nelson Mandela Bay who have shown outstanding commitment to developing their communities.

Why we do it?

Community conversations encourage dialogue and active engagement for new or old parents to gain valuable knowledge. Conversations using these pamphlets should promote sharing and an opportunity to support parents at an early age.

Benefits include:

• Support through knowledge regarding children’s health & parenting

• Safe spaces for sharing and encouragement

• Decreased stigma and anti-bias towards

HIV/AIDS and illness

• Promotion of exclusive breastfeeding

• Increased belonging and social relationships

• Improved community unity

• Improved confidence as a parent

• New Leadership and role models in communities

• Creation of a supportive community culture

• Active participation in building community


Achievements & Awards

March 2020
Innovation page created on

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