GROW GREAT Blog

The Grow Great Campaign seeks to galvanise South Africa towards achieving zero stunting by 2030. Read about our campaigns, news and updates here.

Vacancy: Head of Finance: Grow Great

DGMT is currently looking for a Head of Finance to lead the finance department of Grow Great during its upcoming transition phase. Grow Great is a project incubated by DGMT, a public innovator dedicated to strategic investment for the development of South Africa's...

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The superpowers of Omega 3

For those who are on Twitter, it is no secret that Tito Mboweni loves to cook and eat pilchards, I’m not sure about his recipes, but he seems to enjoy them. Anyway, seeing pilchards on Tito Mboweni’s tweets always reminds me of a very powerful story about pilchards...

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‘GGC awards brought us together’

*This article is from our 2020 edition of our On The Field CHW magazine and has been slightly edited. When asked what he planned to do with the prizes he won, which included cash and a scale, Nkomazi’s top-performing Community Health Worker (CHW), Nhlanhla...

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Youth is key to growing great communities

*This article is from our 2020 edition of our On The Field CHW magazine and has been edited for brevity. Zeph Maseko, the team leader of four Grow Great Champions (GGC) clubs in the Nkomazi area, believes that age played an important role in the success of his clubs....

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Going the extra mile pays off

“My shift ends at half past four but sometimes I work until six o’clock and I don’t mind. I’m always willing to work much longer,” said Tintswalo Gladys Mabunda from Nkomo Village in Giyani. It is this dedication that saw Mabunda crowned Giyani’s top Community Health...

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Sibongile’s strategy for success

When Sibongile Novunga took over the leadership of a former Grow Great Champions (GGC) coach’s club, she had no idea that she would accomplish so much with her group of dedicated community health workers (CHWs). Her club, Mgobodi, finished top of the GGC Superleague...

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How teamwork made Dikeledi a Champion

Work as a unit and focus on supporting and caring for each other as colleagues. That is the advice of the winning Community Health Worker (CHW) in the 2021 Super League, Dikeledi Sehlabane, to all other CHWs in the Grow Great Champions (GGC) network. Sehlabane...

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A dream deferred, not denied

"Winning this award means a lot to me because I now see myself as the nurse of my community," remarked Cyndi Mnisi as we caught up with her at the end of the Grow Great Champions (GGC) ceremony, where she was named Community Health Worker (CHW) of the year. Mnisi had...

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Sowing the seeds of change

It can be easy to forget that you are in Johannesburg’s inner city when you enter the Bertrams Inner City Farm. The farm is not far from the famous Ponte Tower in Hillbrow, and just a few blocks away from the Ellis Park Stadium, and many people would find it hard to...

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Dream big, even if you start small

Motivated by the passion to bring change to her community, Rirhandzu Patience Myenze has grown a small food patch into the large front yard garden it is today in just 11 years. Not only does it feed her family, relatives and neighbours, it brings her income as well as...

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Perseverance pays off

*Told by Mentor Mother Programme Manager Nomzamo Matodlana Community Health Worker (CHW) Babalwa had been feeling very frustrated with Sinazo, a drug-addicted mother, for quite some time. The mother had chased Babalwa away from her home several times, but Babalwa...

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Beating the blues

Like any young mother-to-be, 14-year-old Tintswalo Chauke* was terrified when she found out she was pregnant. The fact that she was not prepared for a child and that she still had her studies to worry about resulted in her becoming depressed. “My depression was caused...

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Talk to someone and save a life

Opening up about one’s mental health challenges can be among the hardest thing to do in life, but Sarah Mashaba (34), a community health worker (CHW) based at Thomo Clinic, Giyani, believes that talking can not only improve one’s mental health, but save lives. She is...

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A cup of tea with Sister B

Grow Great Champions (GGC) Master Trainer Bernardette Robertson had always wanted to make a difference in people’s lives since she was a teenager. Her desire to care for others, especially in times of need, would see her move from her hometown of Port Shepstone in...

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Victory for Vusi!

Born in Phiva at Mpumalanga, Vusimuzi Msibi, always knew that he was destined to care for those around him. The first of four siblings, Vusi had to take on the responsibilities of his parents after they passed away.“I am a mother, father and brother to those left with...

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2021 National Nutrition Week – It’s not just about food

Today marks the end of South Africa’s National Nutrition Week, an annual nutrition awareness campaign aimed at educating the public on healthy nutrition. Sadly, despite us commemorating National Nutrition week dutifully year in and year out, not enough has changed in...

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A team united against stunting

Within seconds of walking into the room where the 14 members of the Bashise Ndlondlo Grow Great Champions (GGC) club are sitting, one can almost sense the spirit of togetherness in the air. All wearing their GGC T-shirts, their faces beam with pride as they explain...

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Putting their community first

The Reaphedisa Grow Great Champions CHW Club, which comprised Nicolene Mohale, Mavis Selotole and Elsinah Mohale achieved a feat that some would consider nearly impossible last year [2018]. The team was named Limpopo’s club of the year, despite it having only four...

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Doing it for the children

When she started working at Seapole Clinic years ago, Nicolene Mohale had no idea that she would accomplish what she has so far. “I started volunteering as a DOTS [Directly Observed Treatment Short Course] supporter for five years. Our community’s clinic committee...

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Knowledge, the key to success

Rose Mpika, of the Siyakhulisa GGC team of CHWs, was elated when she found out that she was named Mpumalanga’s top performing CHW. “I was thrilled because it showed that the work I had been doing had at least received some recognition. That has given me the strength...

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Grow Great releases 2021 Worcester Stunting Report

On 13 May 2021, Grow Great released the findings of a study conducted with Stellenbosch on the nutritional status of children under five in Worcester, Breede Valley (Western Cape). The study set out to respond to two objectives: to describe the prevalence of stunting...

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2021 Grow Great Journalist of the Year submissions now open

Grow Great, a campaign with the aim to galvanise South Africa towards a national commitment to achieving zero stunting by 2030, is calling for submissions for its annual Grow Great journalist of the year awards. The competition that is now running for the third year...

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Grow Great CoCare Maternal Support Study Webinar

On 18 March 2021, Grow Great and its partners from CoCare, Violence Prevention through Urban Upgrading, Embrace and Amandla.mobi held an interactive virtual conference on the findings of the CoCare Report. The report found that...

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Grow Great releases CoCare Maternal Support Study

Grow Great released findings of a study conducted on the impact of COVID-19 on the nutrition and mental health of pregnant women in Cape Town on Thursday, 18 March 2021. The CoCare Maternal Support Study found that pregnant women living in disadvantaged communities in...

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Maternal Support Grant Petition

Prior to COVID-19, many South African households were already burdened with high levels of malnutrition. But then the pandemic came, and things got worse — lockdown restrictions left many families without income, some without access to social relief support,...

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Our Heroes From The Field: Sheila Khoza

        “Asiyibambeni singayi yekeli, size sifike ekugcineni. Ngithi asiyeni phambili!” (let’s persevere until the end, let’s move forward).       I wasn’t sure whether I’d wanted to be part of the screening campaign at first, but I...

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Sabelo Magagula wins the 2020 Grow Great Dads! Challenge

Sabelo Magagula won the Grow Great Dads Challenge that was aired on YFM from 2- 23 June 2020. Magagula won every single week’s challenge and the R10 000 grand prize. The Grow Great team caught up with the 24-year-old father to find out how he managed to win the...

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COVID19 FAQs for mothers

What’s different for pregnant and postnatal women in the time of COVID-19? The symptoms and signs of COVID-19 are the same in pregnant women as the general public. Everyone should take care to avoid infection or infecting others. You help protect yourself by: as often...

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Reflecting on Flourish

This mother’s month, I have been reflecting on how exceptionally fortunate I am to be part of the Flourish community, a network of women committed to supporting, empowering and celebrating one another through the first thousand days of their children’s lives. In my...

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Mindfulness exercise for mothers: Noticing and breathing

Welcome to this noticing and breathing exercise. Perhaps you have already listened to the first two exercises, introducing the practice of breathing to calm your nervous system and meet the everyday challenges wisely and with kindness. It’s great when we can find a...

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Mindfulness exercise for mothers: 2 minutes of breathing

Listen to this article: Welcome to this two-minute breathing exercise. Perhaps you have already listened to the first exercise Intro to Breathing. If you found that useful, here is a slightly longer breathing exercise to help you take good care of yourself, to calm...

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Mindfulness exercise for mothers: Intro to breathing

Listen to this article: Welcome to this breathing exercise. Regardless  what age your children are, it is hard to have them at home all day with little to do, and trying to find ways to keep them both occupied and safe. This can be very demanding for you as a...

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Hantering van gesinsgeweld tydens COVID-19

Listen to this article in Afrikaans: Families kan baie spanning ervaar tydens COVID-19. Families sit by die huis, hulle kan nie gaan werk nie en kan bekommerd wees oor hoe hulle finansieel gaan oorleef. Sommige familielede drink of gebruik dwelms om die stres te...

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Die hantering van stres as moeder tydens COVID-19

Listen to this article in Afrikaans: As 'n moeder sorg jy nie net vir jouself nie; jy sorg ook vir jou kinders en ook ander mense in die huis. Jy kan dus baie spanning en bekommernisse ervaar tydens COVID-19. Miskien is jy angstig oor die aansteek van die virus. “Wat...

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Dealing with family violence during COVID-19

Listen to this article: Families can be experiencing a lot of stress during the COVID-19 crisis. Families may be stuck at home together, the bread winner may not be able to work and may be worried about how they are going to survive financially. Some family members...

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Coping with stress as a mother during COVID-19

Listen to this article: As a mother, you don’t just care for yourself, you are also looking after your children, and often after other people in the house as well. So, you could be experiencing a lot of stress and worries during the epidemic of COVID-19. You might be...

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COVID-19 Algemene vrae en antwoorde vir ma’s

Vraag Ek is swanger. Is daar ‘n groter kans dat ek COVID-19 sal kry? Antwoord Op die oomblik is daar nie bewyse dat swanger vroue meer vatbaar is as die algemene bevolking nie. Nietemin is swangerskap ‘n tydperk van verandering vir jou immuniteit, so swanger vroue...

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Grow Great takes magic of eggs to Alex East Bank Mall

To celebrate its co-branding partnership on Shoprite 18- and 30-pack Ubrand and Ritebrand eggs, the Grow Great team held a special event for the community of Alexandra at the East Bank Mall last weekend. TV and radio personality Penny Lebyane hosted the event, while...

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Health-e citizen journalist wins inaugural journalism award

Tembisa-based OurHealth citizen journalist Marcia Zali walks away with the first Grow Great Journalism Award for her reporting childhood nutrition and stunting. Zali’s two entry stories on one of South Africa’s most pressing challenges — poor nutrition which...

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SA is food secure but millions of children are stunted

World Food Day is an opportunity to reflect on what we are not feeding the next generation and how that will affect our future. (Madelene Cronje/M&G) If it is true that we are what we eat, then we South Africans need to take a long, hard look at our diets,...

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Flourish welcomes 25 new franchisees

In June 2019, Flourish held its graduation ceremony for 25 franchisees who were eligible to run antenatal groups after attending a rigorous boot camp in Magaliesburg. Expectant moms will be happy to know that they will be empowered and well-supported on their journey...

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The workforce that makes our health system work

Community health workers could play a significant role in turning the tide on stunting in South Africa if adequately supported with resources, training, coaching, mentoring and dignified employment conditions they need to do their work optimally. Among South Africa’s...

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Political parties fail to address nutritional stunting

Access to nutritious food is linked to improvements in human productivity (David Harrison) With less than two months before the general elections, all the major political parties — the ANC, the Democratic Alliance, the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), the Congress of...

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Grow Great is recruiting!

Grow Great, a campaign aimed at galvanizing South Africa towards achieving zero stunting by 2030 is recruiting for two roles: A Club Coordinator for the campaign’s Champions for Children program and a Monitoring & Evaluation Officer. Stunting is a condition that...

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Flourish, a Grow Great program welcomes new franchisees

We're pleased to announce our newly licensed Flourish franchisees stemming from 4 different provinces united by their passion for supporting & celebrating South Africa's women & children. We are so excited to be embarking on this journey with you and wish you...

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The Grow Great Campaign Launch

The Grow Great Campaign launched on the 17th of October 2018. The event was attended by the First Lady Dr Tshepo Motsepe who also gave a keynote speech. Speaking at the event Dr Motsepe said "This is a campaign that must take place in all sectors of our society in all...

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Dr Motsepe warns against a future ‘stunted’ generation

Johannesburg - Breastfeeding babies, good nutrition and investment in ensuring healthy, disease-free environments can reverse stunted growth in South African children, South Africa's First Lady Dr Tshepo Motsepe said on Wednesday. At least 27 percent of children under...

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Promoting a healthy lifestyle for Soweto’s moms-to-be

SOWETO – A network of social franchises has sprung up across Soweto to meet the area’s needs for decent prenatal classes in the townships. Story by Pamela Mkhize. The franchises are known as Flourish and seek to offer universal access to mom and baby classes that...

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Stunting the silent killer of South Africa’s potential

When we think malnutrition we tend to think of emaciated children struggling to survive, but malnutrition is also the cause of stunting – a largely invisible condition that is starving the economy by preventing our children from reaching their full potential. LINK TO...

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