The Philani Health and Nutrition Project is a community-based non-governmental organization (NGO) committed to the protection of the rights of every child to proper nutrition and healthcare in communities where malnourished children and destitute mothers are most vulnerable.

Philani was established in 1979 on the initiative of Swedish doctor Ingrid le Roux and community health workers to provide basic child health and nutrition services to a community ignored and neglected by the health authorities of the Apartheid government. Now, operating in the informal settlements of Khayelitsha, Crossroads, Brown’s Farm, Mfuleni, Nyanga and Delft on the outskirts of Cape Town, 20-30 km from the city centre, Philani serves vulnerable women and children. Beyond the original focus on children, Philani has responded to needs of the communities and offers education and training for women, income-generating projects, pre-schools, an outreach and home-based nutrition and child health programme, a mothers-to-be programme, an orphans and vulnerable children programme and a dental project, as well as a care and support programme for HIV positive mothers and children.

Dr. Rotheram met Dr. le Roux in 2005 and shortly afterwards they began to plan research projects together. They have collaborated on many projects, including the Philani Nutrition Programme, Philani Plus (+), Masihambisane, and Mentor Mothers Zithulele. Over the years, the mutual respect and friendship between Dr. Rotheram and Dr. le Roux has grown. Their work and collaborations are an extension of that friendship, and of the goals and commitment to vulnerable communities that they share.

Philani Mentor Mother Programme