In South Africa, over 1.5 million children under the age of 5 are stunted (have a low height-for-age or are suffering from chronic under nutrition).
This means that almost 3 out of every 10 children in South Africa are already stunted. These children will likely not reach their full growth and developmental potential because of the irreversible physical and cognitive damage caused by persistent nutritional deprivations.
Good nutrition is the foundation of child survival,
health and development; well-nourished children are better able to grow and learn, to participate in and contribute to their communities. Stunting is associated with poor brain development, which affects a child’s cognitive development, educational attainment and productivity in adulthood which in turn has an effect on the development potential of a nation .
UNICEF South Africa Brief 2020
Many of the babies and children arrive at Hearts of Hope malnourished, failing to thrive and with chronic
medical conditions requiring specialised diets and menus. Each child is assessed on arrival at the home by the
Operations team and together a nutritional programme is developed for them.
We have regular surprise audit visits to check on our cold chain and food management systems.
When we are asked by social workers to receive a child into our care, we are most times given a background report and where possible told their current ‘story’ of what has happened that has led them to be needing our care and protection.
On 18 March 2014, we received a call – a 21-month-old little boy needed to be removed from a ‘place of safety’. Undernourished and neglected, he had kwashiorkor (a severe form of malnutrition). Fortunately, we had space and the answer could be yes, bring him home…
Hearts of Hope uses Wellbi for its monitoring and evaluation. We began implementation of the programme at the beginning of 2022 as a way of providing quantitative data for the organization.
Wellbi is an online platform used by non-profit organisations around the world to manage the data of children and adults they serve. This includes beneficiary profiles, programme related data such as attendance registers & process/intervention notes and assessments quantifying the wellbeing of beneficiaries being served.
Through tracking more than 140 different data points on each beneficiary and displaying these data points in easily understood dashboards, Wellbi helps organisation staff understand their programme impact and better allocate limited resources (time & money) based on data-driven decisions.
8 Wellbeing Domains Measured
Different wellbeing assessments, based on the Child Status Index (CSI Index) have been developed. This framework is recognised internationally and is used as a general standard in the OVC-care sphere. PEPFAR, UNICEF and other organizations use this framework in their programme development and measuring and evaluation activities.
The CSI-framework has 6 domains, but Wellbi has an added 2 wellbeing domains, of which Hearts of Hope is not measuring the economic domain, as our children are supported by the organisation and not by an individual family. The 7 wellbeing domains are divided into subdomains, and for each subdomain several datapoints or questions have been developed in Wellbi.
There are many ways in which you can help us with our Nutritional and Wellbeing programme
If you would like to offer your help, please complete the form below