Unemployment, poverty, disease and domestic violence are commonplace in the township of Alexandra in Johannesburg. For young mothers, who often have to raise their children alone, survival is a constant struggle, and they barely have time for themselves and their babies. Yet the first 1001 days after conception are crucial to a child’s development.
A group of women from the Ububele Home Visiting program, who are themselves also from Alexandra, are working to transform the neighborhood by improving the mental well-being of mothers and their babies. They do so by talking and offering advice to the mothers.
1001 Days centers on home visits made by three of the women, Thandiwe, Khosi and Zanele. Building a bond of trust with the young mothers requires attention and sensitivity. They take all the time needed to hold intimate, often painful conversations—just as the makers themselves take the time to show their exchanges, so it feels as if you are there with the women in the cramped rundown dwellings.