HSK_What If Blog

What If…?

A Home-Grown Solution – As told by “Uncle” Norman

Whether you are in favour of the proverb “charity begins at home” or that which affirms that “home is where the heart is”, one cannot be faulted for believing that the genesis of Headstart Kids – a nutrition-based humanitarian organisation – may have been prompted by either of these two philosophies, if not both.


It’s true, the Headstart Kids journey started in Lily Geerdts’ own home, from where she saw the difference a “10 steps before Ritalin approach” that had been recommended by her son’s paediatrician, made in his early life. The recommended approach focussed on nutrition (including healthy fats, B vitamins and folic acid) combined with hydration, exercise, structure, sleep hygiene as well as mental wellbeing and support. After just 6-8 weeks of high doses of omega oils and replacing sugary fizzy drinks with water, they saw significant improvements in not only his general well-being, but also his eczema.


Instead of being content with the remarkable outcome of this intervention and moving on with her everyday life – which apparently cannot be without a daily dose of green juice – Lily Geerdts was spurred to ask herself and by extension us, What If…?

·       WHAT IF WE tried this with other children – who due to their numerous socio-economic circumstances, would regrettably never be privy to these or any other remedial interventions?

·       WHAT IF WE decided to embark on a joint venture set on Inspiring Children’s Futures, by ensuring that children have what they need to reach their full potential?

·       WHAT IF WE found simple, cost-effective, and scalable solutions, that could help save the lives many other children?

·       And without a doubt, her most ardent call to action: WHAT IF WE could eradicate malnutrition in children?


We suspect that this green juice votary asked these questions because she too believed, as alluded to in the Thrive by Five Index, that the best way to shape a positive future for South Africa is to harness the full potential of every child.


Evidently, Ms Lily Geerdts did not just ask these questions, but decided to make a real difference in answering them. To try and give children a chance, a head start – and allow them to survive, grow, learn, and thrive to become active and valuable members of society. Lilly, like many others around the world, decries the fact that globally nearly one out of every three children under the age of five is affected by severe malnutrition. That’s at least 45 million children each year, suffering and dying.


It shouldn’t be happening.


WHAT IF you decided to come join Lily and the rest of the Headstart Kids team, to fight malnutrition and save lives? We would truly appreciate that – and so will the many children we serve.