My motivation to join SaferSpaces:
I am the Director of Operations and Training for the Mikhulu Trust, a charity that helps parents provide the best support for their young children's development.
Our core programme is called supportive book-sharing, which equips caregivers to engage with their very young children over picture books. In a randomised control trial in Khayelitsha, the children of caregivers who received the training programme demonstrated considerable gains in infant language and attention. Significantly, this was brought about by improvements in both maternal sensitivity and the reciprocity between parent and child.
In current ongoing trials is Lesotho and Khayelitsha, we are examining the impact of this intervention on child socio-emotional understanding, emotion regulation and behaviour, as well as parenting practices.
Since book-sharing has a beneficial impact on several risk factors for the development of child aggression, research is currently under to establish whether introducing book-sharing to communities, or improving book-sharing skills, could contribute to reducing levels of violence.