1,000 Days was born in 2010 in response to ground-breaking scientific evidence that identified a powerful window of opportunity from a woman’s pregnancy to a child’s 2nd birthday when nutrition has a long-term impact on the future health and development of both children and societies. We coined this window of opportunity the first 1,000 days.
With the backing of the U.S. Government, the Government of Ireland, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and several nonprofit organizations, 1,000 Days began its work as a partnership to drive greater action and investment to improve nutrition for women and young children throughout the world. In 2015, our work expanded to focus on the issues that impact the nutrition and well-being of mothers, babies and toddlers in the U.S., particularly the most vulnerable.
Under the leadership of our founding Executive Director, 1,000 Days has developed an enduring narrative about why the first 1,000 days is a window of opportunity that matters for the futures of women, young children and their societies. Our work is inspired and informed by mothers in the U.S. and around the world who strive every day to give their children a strong start to life. And through the tireless efforts of a small but mighty team of passionate advocates (many of whom are mothers themselves), 1,000 Days has become a leading voice on the issues that affect babies, toddlers and the people that love them.
Our guiding principles are the compass we use to guide our work. They are anchored in the enduring concepts of human rights, dignity and equity.
- Every woman and child—no matter where they are born—deserves a healthy first 1,000 days and the opportunity to reach their full potential.
- Every mother should have the opportunity to give her children the strongest start to life.
- The needs of the most disadvantaged (mothers and children) must be prioritized first.
- Health is a fundamental human right. It is the foundation for women and children to flourish, communities to prosper & nations to thrive.
- All people have the right to food. Because food is an essential building block for human health and development in the first 1,000 days, the rights of women and children to live a life free from hunger and malnutrition must be prioritized and protected by governments.
- A world free from hunger and poverty is possible if societies invest in the well-being of women and children in the first 1,000 days.
- Women’s voices and experiences should be at the center of efforts to design policies and decide solutions that impact their and their children’s lives.
- We should expect, demand, and do better for women and children everywhere.
- Mothers have the power to change the world.