February 16, 2016 Contributor

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!

We are especially excited to announce that our Gap-Year Interns are gearing up to teach their own classes! Sonwabise, Asemahle, and Sikelelwa are all Earthchild Alumni who have been involved with our programmes for about as long as they’ve existed. In our weekly meeting, they shared an eagerness to begin their lessons and extramurals, presenting their ideas for a girls’ club that promotes confidence and women’s empowerment.

Earthchild Project kicked off the week by introducing our international interns to the schools in Khayelitsha where they participated in Nok’s intro yoga class. In this lesson the children are introduced to Earthchild, our mission, and yoga. Icebreaker games are used to familiarize the children with each other and to promote a welcoming environment where they can be positively received by all. “I was amazed to see the calming effect the yoga had on the kids,” one of our interns shared. “It is a really good way for them to release any pent up energy and you could visibly see how happy the lesson made them. I noticed that many students from previous years were eager to return to Nok’s classroom; coming in at break to show off a little and to squeeze in some yoga before scurrying off to their next lesson.”

Every class begins with this yoga pledge:

“I love my body

I respect all people, animals and the earth

I listen to my teachers, my friends and myself

I keep my class clean and my mat flat

I always, always do my best

When I say I can,


Our Earthchildren recite this pledge multiple times with motions to match, sometimes whispering it and sometimes shouting it to the heavens. The children particularly enjoy this activity and our hope is that it will instill in them exactly what they are reciting- love and connection to self, others and the earth.

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