The first 1000 days of a child’s life are the most important. Getting quality Early Childhood Development (ECD) is the best way to invest in the future of our nation. The stimulation that occurs in the first 5 years of a child’s life lays the mental foundation for the rest of their lives. Children with access to quality ECD are more likely to complete school, which means they are less likely to contract HIV/AIDS and more likely to get a job or go on to university. Yet in South Africa, only 1/5 children attend a formal crèche or preschool. 

Because of this, iThemba is partnering with teachers and parents in Mpumuza to create a sustainable system of ECD in this community. Through site-based and home-based interventions, as well as adding to the number of quality ECD centers in the community, iThemba hopes to saturate this area through every stream of influence so that the majority of children have access to quality ECD. By having intentional, concentrated focus, we hope to energize the parents and teachers in this community to spread a culture that values ECD, and build a network of self-supporting ECD practitioners. Supporting this ECD work, is our goal to develop sustainable nutrition through food gardens, and teaching Life Skills to give teens the tools they need to make successful life choices.


We'd love to have you join us in bringing hope to Mpumuza through education.

Donate through our USA partner
Donate through our UK partner



To partner with us, please contact Stu Walker. The oversight of the organisation is carried out by the trustees of iThemba Trust (IT128/2007/PMB) - iThemba is a registered PBO 930025842 and therefore all donations are tax deductible
- iThemba's beneficiaries are all Black and therefore donations made can contribute to BEE points
- iThemba is audited annually by PriceWaterhouseCoopers and has never had a qualified audit.


Burr, J. & Grunewald, R. (2006). Lessons Learned: A Review of Early Childhood Development Studies.


Canada, G (2009). Whatever it takes: Geoffrey Canada’s quest to change Harlem and America. Houghton Mifflin, New York.


Heckman, J.J. & Masterov, D.V. (2007). The productivity argument for investing in young children. Nber Working Paper Series, Working Paper 13016. Accessed 6 November 2014.


The World Health Organization (2004). The importance of caregiver-child interactions for the survival and healthy development of young children: a review.

The World Health Organization (2012). Developmental Difficulties in Early Childhood Survey.


Unicef (2004). Girls, HIV/AIDS and Education. United Nations Children’s Fund. New York. Accessed 10 November, 2014