Ibhayi Lengane

First 1000 Days Relationship Support Tool


Many non-governmental organisations and several government departments offer home visiting programmes to address health and social needs in marginalised communities.

Through consultation with a number of these agencies, Ilifa identified the need for a resource that complements existing programmes, and focuses on strengthening the attachment between mother and child during the first 1 000 days of life.

Inspired by ‘ordinary magic’

In partnership with dlalanathi and the Africa Centre for Population Health, Ilifa developed a First 1 000 Days Relationship Support Tool to help caregivers realise the ordinary magic which takes place trough loving, responsive care. The tool, called Ibhayi Lengane (meaning baby’s blanket), includes a home-visiting activity guide for home visitors, leave-at-home materials for caregiver and families, and a training manual to train home visitors in implementation.

The Relationship Support Tool aims to:

  • facilitate relationship between caregiver and home visitor
  • stimulate relationship between caregiver and her baby
  • increase understanding of the significance of a responsive relationship in the development of a baby
  • integrate practices which support maternal mental health
  • support problem-solving around access to key needs and services

The Ibhayi Lengane First 1000 Days Relationship Support Tool has been tested by the Human Sciences Research Council. The study demonstrated that the Ibhayi Lengane programme has the effect that it was expected to have, and the potential to show a positive impact if tested at a larger scale.