A celebration of the ECP Yoga Ambassadors

Last week Wednesday was a morning of honouring our local yoga ambassadors who have each supported Earthchild Project in a unique and generous way. It was a great time to show our appreciation to our ambassadors and to highlight the value of Seva in our yoga journeys. “Seva” is a Sanskrit word meaning “selfless service” or work performed without any thought of reward or repayment. In ancient India seva was believed to help one’s spiritual growth and at the same time contribute to the improvement of a community. Without a doubt a true description of the work that our ambassadors do for ECP.

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Earthchild Project Ambassador Spotlight – Melissa Brake and Erin Sprong

Over the years, there have been a number of really special yoga teachers who have dedicated a lot of time and energy into supporting Earthchild Project and being a driving force behind the work that we do. In order to honour these people, we have initiated an Earthchild Project Ambassador Programme. And we are proud to introduce you to our second and third ambassador, Melissa Brake and Erin Sprong. Melissa owns Yogaway Yoga studio in Newlands where both her and Erin teach. These two incredible women have selflessly been dedicated to teaching Monday yoga classes in Khayelitsha for many years and their motivation has never wavered.

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EARTHCHILD PROJECT AMBASSADOR SPOTLIGHT – SCHALK VILJOEN

Over the years, there have been a number of really special yoga teachers who have dedicated a lot of time and energy into supporting Earthchild Project and being a driving force behind the work that we do. In order to honour these people, we have initiated an Earthchild Project Ambassador Programme. And we are proud to introduce you to our first ambassador, Schalk Viljoen. Schalk teaches Jivamukti classes in the Darmstadt, Mainz, Frankfurt & Basel area of Germany. We caught up with Schalk to find out more about his yoga journey and why he cares so much about Earthchild Project.

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Eco-Warriors for Our Planet

Agbogbloshie: a polluted district in Accra, Ghana that is used as an international dumping ground for electronic waste – nicknamed “Sodom and Gomorrah” by locals due to its harsh living conditions.

“I don’t believe that the solutions in society will come from the left or the right or the north or the south. They will come from islands within those organizations, islands of people with integrity who want to do something.”
Karl-Henrik Robert – Founder of The Natural Step

This is part of what we hope our impact is at Earthchild Project – we hope that we are making an island of people who will grow up and start demanding change in their society, and in their world. By educating our earthchildren – our “eco-warriors” – in our schools on the environment and their impact upon it, we hope that this future generation will grow up and contribute to a global attitude of preserving our planet. We hope these children will grow up with a fire in their belly for environmental justice – especially since Africa is one of the most negatively affected continents when it comes to waste.

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Let’s not wait until the taps run dry…

With Cape Town moving into crisis status with the current water shortages, we can’t help wonder about the human tendency to avoid making changes until faced with an extreme threat. We don’t make dietary changes until we get really ill, we don’t work less until we burn out, we won’t significantly reduce our water consumption until our taps run dry. (Big sigh) Why, oh why do we do this?

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Say “no” to single-use plastic

I hate to admit it, but as a child, one of my greatest joys was tearing the paper off of a new straw, dropping a splash of soda onto the wrapper and watching it wriggle open as a worm. I felt sophisticated using a straw. And it was always associated with the treat of a sugary soda drink (something else that makes me cringe). Fast forward twenty years and the idea that big franchises and educated people can still hand out and use straws blows my mind.

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Mindfulness Activities for Children

We are well aware that there is much evidence out there that proves the benefits of mindfulness for children. But we are equally aware of the challenges that come with trying to implement that mindfulness in the chaotic classroom and often hectic home. So, in order to assist, we’ve scoured the web for some resources and tips that offer excellent methods for child mindfulness that are sure to make being present for children a little bit more fun and, well…mindful.

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Hey you, yes YOU! Be water wise at school and at home!

Pic :: EWN

After the much-needed storms in Cape Town, we still find ourselves in a worrying drought crisis, at the heart of which lies our everyday use of water. We have been working hard to save water, but we must still work harder in so many easy, everyday ways. Small efforts can go a long way. And apathy never gets anyone, anywhere very fast.

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What exactly is worm farming?

Worm farming, something Earthchild has implemented in the schools in Kayehlitsha and Lavender Hill, is a method of using worms to process organic food waste in order to produce a nutrient rich soil. Food waste includes coffee grounds, eggshells, tea bags, fruits and vegetables and even cardboard or paper. This is extremely beneficial for the environment in that the waste which would normally end up in a landfill is converted into compost for the garden.

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The Spinach King – A beacon of hope in the midst of Khayelitsha

The community of Khayelitsha, where Earthchild Project is present in 4 schools, is a very special one. The children are happy, smiling, and eager to learn and practice yoga, but their living and home situation is not always ideal, with some areas having families of 8-10 people living in one shack and having to walk up to 200 m for running water. Khayelitsha is one of the fastest growing townships in Cape Town and is prone to all different types of violence. Earthchild Project aims to help the children living in this environment to realise their potential and to create new possibilities for their lives.

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Earthchild Spotlight: Sonwabile Tafeni

In honor of our 10-year anniversary, we are highlighting 10 remarkable Earthchildren from the past and present. Last but not least, our Earthchild Spotlight number ten is Sonwabile Tafeni who is 16 years old and a former student at Sakumlandela Primary School in Khayelitsha. Sonwabile is an engaged yogi, hardworking high school student, and a committed Earthchild alumni. She keeps inspiring me with her personality and engagements and I’ve had the great fortune to meet her a handful of times throughout my past three months in Cape Town. Sonwabile is only 16, but she speaks with such depth and her eyes are clearly set on a bright future for herself and her community.

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EARTHCHILD SPOTLIGHT: BEYONCE SWARTZ

In honor of our 10-year anniversary, we are highlighting 10 remarkable Earthchildren from the past and present. Our Earthchild Spotlight number nine is Beyonce Swartz who is 12 years old at Hillwood Primary School in Lavendar Hill. When our Lavender Hill facilitator, Linci, brought Beyonce to be interviewed, she couldn’t believe how shy and quiet the normally bubbly girl had become. But once the recorder was turned off and the camera came out, Beyonce transformed into someone that enjoys the spotlight as much as her namesake!

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Earthchild Spotlight: Katlego Shaloma

In honor of our 10-year anniversary, we are highlighting 10 remarkable Earthchildren from the past and present. Our Earthchild Spotlight number eight is Katlego Shaloma who is 11 years old and in Grade 6 at Sakumlandela Primary School in Khayelitsha. Each time that I have joined the Eco-Warrior Club in Khayelitsha, Katlego has been present and shown herself to be eager to learn. She also has some wild and unruly energy shining through her eyes. You will notice her from a distance, she is definitely something special.

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Earthchild Spotlight: Chriswin Christians

In honor of our 10-year anniversary, we are highlighting 10 remarkable Earthchildren from the past and present. Our Earthchild Spotlight number four is Chriswan Christians who is 10 years old and in Grade 4 at Hillwood Primary School in Lavender Hill. More than just a beautiful name and an absolutely charming face, Chriswan is a bright young student who realises the value of the environment in his life and the need to keep it safe for future generations. Such young eco-warriors continue to inspire us in our work and daily lives.

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yoga and meditation for kidsConnect

We teach children to connect to self, each other and the earth through yoga and life skills.

organic gardening worm-farming for kidsCultivate

We teach children to cultivate practical skills for life through gardening and worm farming.

hiking with kidsInspire

We're inspiring a new generation of young leaders through hikes and holiday programmes.

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