The Philani Maternal, Child Health and Nutrition Trust has been addressing maternal, child health and nutrition problems in the informal settlements surrounding Cape Town since 1979. Philani’s mandate is sustainable community health, and, over the years, we have developed programmes to meet the needs of the communities we serve. As an organisation we aim to improve health outcomes by combining our skills and resources with the knowledge and resources that exist in the community.

Our programmes promote family health, focusing on the support of pregnant mothers, care for newborn babies and children as they grow, prevention of child malnutrition, the rehabilitation of underweight children as well as support of people with chronic diseases and those that are bed-ridden. We are committed to limiting the suffering of families infected and affected by HIV and preventing the spread of the virus.


  • Our 290 mentor mothers are doing close to 30 000 home visits per month -
  • More than 600 children are enrolled in our Educare classes -
  • 27% of South African children under 2 years of age are stunted -
  • 31% of child deaths in South Africa are due to malnutrition -
  • 35% of pregnant mothers in communities we serve are HIV positive -
  • South Africa has one of the lowest rates of exclusive breastfeeding in the world -
  • Mothers supported by a mentor mother are 3 times more likely to exclusively breastfeed -
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