Worm tea – a key ingredient in our organic gardening

Have you ever heard of worm tea? It doesn’t sound great, does it? Thing is, it is amazing! It’s often misunderstood what worm tea actually is. It is not the leachate (water that has percolated through a solid and leached out some of the constituents) which gathers in the bottom bin of the worm farm.  This shouldn’t be used on your vegetables as it may contain pathogens and the PH  may be high, plus studies have shown that it has low nutritional value (so your plants will not thrive on it). Worm tea, however, is the key ingredients to your vegetables and plants thriving!

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Welcome to the team, Etienne!

Sharing environmental knowledge and stimulating awareness about, and care for, nature are core aspects of Earthchild Project’s practices. But finding the right people for this job can often be a challenge. The children need someone to look up to, someone interesting to learn from and someone willing to be with them every day and share their love for nature. In this light, we would like to welcome Etienne Basson, Earthchild’s newest team member

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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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In the Heads of Our Living Classroom Teachers: Bruce Asia

The day that I got to interview Bruce Asia was one of those days when everything felt a bit upside down. At least for my colleague. When driving to the school she realised that she had put her pants on inside out and when we parked at Levana Primary I asked her quietly: “But hey, doesn’t Bruce work at Hillwood Primary?…”. After a short, confused silence, she answered “Yes, he does” filled with laughter. After lots of laughing between us, we arrived at Hillwood Primary and had a photo shoot to capture Bruce’s class with their worm farm. Bruce has a love filled but firm manner with his students and you can tell that he cares dearly for them all. He has a special relationship with Earthchild Project, and he is involved in many other projects to develop Hillwood Primary, too. Bruce is an inspiring person and I am so very happy that I was able to sit down and talk to him.

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In the Heads of Our Living Classroom Teachers: Vuyelwa Rola

This charismatic woman, Vuyelwa Rola, does not leave anyone untouched. She truly has the power of words and she proved this during our interview at Yomelela Primary, where Vuyelwa is a teacher. We sat on two chairs in the school’s beautiful garden that is run by local “mamas”. So much beauty around us with all leafy greens sprouting and so much beauty in Vuyelwa’s Earthchild Project story.

“The society we’re in, it’s a society that has a lot of noise…The children come from homes that are abusive so when they are with Earthchild Project they really feel calm, they really feel different.” – Vuyelwa Rola

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In the Heads of Our Living Classroom Teachers: Hayley Robertson

Not only do we work with amazing Earthchildren, but our living classroom teachers are the ones who actually make our work possible. I had the luck to interview some of our star teachers. First out is Hayley Robertson, a dedicated teacher and environmentalist who does not hesitate to bring her class’ worm farm home for the holidays to keep it running. I have had the luck to meet and talk to her several times during my time in South Africa. Hayley really gives so much energy back to her students as well to the Earthchild Project team!

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Earthchild Spotlight: Dilshaad Julius

©Amanda Norrlander

In honor of our 10-year anniversary, we are highlighting 10 remarkable Earthchildren from the past and present. Our Earthchild Spotlight number six is Dilshaad Julius who is 9 years old and in Grade 3 at Harmony Primary School in Lavender Hill. This young girl is truly a positive energy boost for everyone around her. Dilshaad entered the staff room at Harmony Primary with a confident, big smile and one can immediately sense how excited she is about yoga.

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Earthchild Spotlight: Big Dreams in Khayelitsha

In honor of our 10-year anniversary, we will be highlighting 10 remarkable Earthchildren from the past and present. Liso Nokhona starts off our dedication to the youth and if you haven’t heard yet, he is a legend in Khayelitsha.

A year ago, Liso was introduced to yoga and since then he dreams of becoming the youngest male yoga instructor in his community.Without hesitation or apprehension, he takes any opportunity to guide his class through a few rounds of sun salutations.

Wasting no time, Liso is working towards gaining more teaching experience in preparation for the future. Unbeknownst to him it was way overdue to learn about the impact yoga has made on his life.

liso-pictureQ: What does yoga mean to you?

Yoga is my future. This is my first year doing yoga but I love it. It will help me go other places on an airplane like New York City or Los Angeles. My friend has a sweater with those cities.

Q: Of all the exercises & sports, why do you want to teach yoga?

I teach because I want my class to know how you can do yoga & maybe they can eventually teach the rest of the class too. I enjoy the activities of yoga because it makes me healthy.

Q: How does your community receive yoga?

Well, my parents have said, “It’s nice that you want to teach yoga my child.” Limakatso is my classmate that helps me when I mess up.

Q: A lot of women do yoga so do you think you will influence young men to try it?

Yes, it will help them to see how you can do yoga and they will give to other people.

Q: Lastly what is your favorite pose & why?

Butterfly is my favorite pose because I like butterflies in the spring.

Q: Could you describe yoga in two ways? 

1. Yoga is my future

2. It will help me travel to new places overseas

After the “formal” Q/A interview, Liso offered to guide me through his favorite sequence of “yoga activities” starting with butterfly pose, transitioning through all the warrior poses and then finishing with tree pose. As the interview officially came to an end, he looked up at me with the most charismatic & confident smile, “Do you have any more questions for me?”

As this school year winds down, let’s remain committed to sharing and encouraging the dreams of the youth. In addition, stay connected with us to learn about the next Earthchild spotlight and details regarding our 10 year anniversary! #CelebrateECP10

Dominique Camille is an Earthchild project intern working in the schools and the office. She is a yoga teacher from the San Francisco Bay Area deeply committed to social justice and liberating expression. 

Children in Nature

The Eco-Warrior club is an after school program run by our Xoli Fujani. The club aims to combine leadership training, life skills and environmental education in a way that is engaging and experimental – and is successful. As is demonstrated by this song below, written by students from Harmony Primary School in Lavender Hill who are members of the Eco-Warrior Club. Read more

Starting Strong

School is back in session and we’re excited to be back in class with our Earthchildren, teaching yoga and getting our hands dirty in the worm farms. Earthchild Project is turning 10 this year and we’re feeling inspired for the year ahead.  We’re now working with 48 Living Classrooms, 12 Extra-mural Clubs, 2 Hiking Clubs and 20 Alumni youth – reaching a total of 2500 children! Read more

Earthchild Hero: Liyathando (aka Brenda)

Liyathando (also known as Brenda) is an Earthchild who is part of our programme at Ntwasahlobo Primary School. She’s a leader who exploring the world with courage and composure. Leave your thoughts and response for Brenda below, we will make sure to share them with her…

Q. What inspires you?

Adventure and exploring my space inspires me. My experience of adventure includes slaying dragons, fighting monsters. I also saved someone from being bitten by a dog.

Q. How do you care for yourself, others and the environment?

I keep my body clean. I try to drink two liters of water a day. And I tell others how to protect themselves. I care a lot about trees and plants. Trees are really important, if there were no trees there wouldn’t be the air that we now breathe.

Q. Who is your role model?

Nelson Mandela and my big brother. Nelson Mandela was a good man, he freed us. My brother is also good, he’s always thinking about things and singing. I’d like to sing like him.

Q. How does yoga make you feel?

It makes me feel so relaxed, like I’m flying. It’s quiet, and I can relax my body just the way I want.

liyathando---yoga-children-2Q. What is your favorite yoga pose?

My favorite is lotus pose in meditation, and being quiet.

Q. If you were an animal what animal would you be?

I’d be a bird. Because I always dream of flying up in the sky, seeing the sun clearing, and the quiet. All you would hear are the birds.

Just R200 provides a child like Brenda with weekly yoga lessons for a year. You can Share the Love of Yoga by donating, holding a fundraising class or sharing the love on social media

Share the Love

 

Praise for Growth and Learning

Thankfully today, it is widely understood children learn best in positive and encouraging environments. Praising a child for tasks completed improves their confidence and by extension their performance. However, this interesting study looks at the difference between two types of praise, with very different outcomes…

Eco-Outing: Intaka Island, Harmony Primary

This week Mrs Robertson’s Grade 6 at Harmony Primary got to explore Intaka Island as part of their Living Classroom’s eco-outing. It’s a 6 hectare wetland and bird sanctuary situated in the heart of Century City approximately 7km from Cape Town’s CBD, which gives our Earthchildren the chance to connect with nature close to home.

You can find out more about our Living Classrooms here

 

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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