Step 2: Find a mother/caregiver who’s looking for support and friendship




If you are not part of a church, or faith-based network, or other socially oriented community, try to convince at least one more person to do this with you.

Doing it together will make it less intimidating. You will have support and someone with shared experiences. Many people in South Africa lead harsh and difficult lives. Facing the hardship of another person’s life can be an emotional experience. You will find that being able to debrief and reflect with someone else is invaluable.

If you can already identify someone who you’d like to reach out to, then you are halfway there! But perhaps you need some help.

  • a nurse at a public clinic;
  • a nurse at the maternity ward of a public hospital;
  • a manager at a local non-profit organisation (for example Child Welfare SA);
  • a teacher, facilitator or preacher at a school, a crèche or a church in an area where high risk mothers and children are likely to live.

You can take the formal route of calling one of the organisations mentioned above, briefly explaining what you’d like help with, getting a referral to the best person to talk to, and making an appointment to speak to him/her.

You can edit, copy, paste and email/SMS/Whatsapp all or some of the information in this resource document to secure an appointment or use it as a conversation starter.
  1. You need their help to identify a pregnant or new mother who might be interested in receiving support and information for the sake of enhancing the development and wellbeing of her baby/child over the next four months (this period could be extended once the relationship is established and progressing well). To see who are the mothers or caregivers that need our support most, click here.
  2. If such a mother can be identified (or a referral made to a relevant organisation), it would be great if she can be put in contact with you.
  3. This can be done by giving/sending her a First 1000 Days Invitation (see below) and your contact information.
  4. You could mention that if the referring person or organisation is interested, they could stay in contact with the nominated mother and monitor whether she is finding the experience and relationship valuable. If not, they could play a role in advising her to withdraw from the relationship either immediately or at the end of the four-month period.

Below is the invitation for you to save to your computer and/or your phone. You can print it out and give to your contact to share with the mother (remember to write you contact details on the back) or, if her cellphone details are available, you can send it via WhatsApp/SMS (remember to provide your contact details beneath). Wait a day or so to hear from her, follow-up once or twice, and if she is not interested try again with someone else. If the mother you contact is interested, you are ready to move on to Step 3.