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 in the classroom

Mindfulness practices are beginning to be more fully recognised in their capacity to benefit children physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually not only at school, but in everyday life. At its core, mindfulness is about being fully aware of the present moment with a disposition of kindness and curiosity. Paying attention to the moment through visualisation, mindful walking, meditation, breath-work and yoga are all ways in which children can become presently embodied and grounded.

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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: 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: Lucian Engelbrecht

©Amanda Norrlander

In honor of our 10-year anniversary, we are highlighting 10 remarkable Earthchildren from the past and present. Our Earthchild Spotlight number five is Lucian Engelbrecht who is 12 years old and in Grade 6 at Harmony Primary School in Lavender Hill. This young boy made me smile from the very first moment he stepped into the room where we conducted the interview. Lucian possesses such great energy and his humbleness and love for what he does shines through his whole being.

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Earthchild Spotlight: Athenkosi Khulu

In honor of our 10-year anniversary, we will be highlighting 10 remarkable Earthchildren from the past and present. We present to you the third Earthchild Spotlight : Athenkosi Khulu. Athhenkosi has been a part of the Earthchild Project family since the very beginning of our journey. This young man is currently studying at college and will start his very own hiking club with the Earthchild Project in 2017. I had the honour of interviewing him last week.

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After School Club: Empowerment in South Africa

Adults cannot deny the challenge of expressing emotions during the physiological, emotional, & mental changes of puberty. With the After School Young Girl’s club, Earthchild project hopes to ease the emotional turbulence for the 5th/ 6th grade girls at Harmony & Sakumlendela Primary. The girls club focuses on promoting positive identity development through self-compassion, non-violent communication & relationship building.

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This program is led by the three outstanding gap year  interns: Asemahle, Sonwabise (Soso), & Sikelelwa (Sikie) who  were also apart of the girls club and recall it’s relevance during their  formative years. “Young girls club is  a space to talk about anything, even though it could be difficult to open up,” Sikie.

The interns’ confident demeanor influences the young girls to voice their opinions & feel comfortable in their own bodies. Asemahle declares,“ The young girl’s club allows them to feel free to be themselves.” Witnessing this comfort & liberation is a radical act of self-love, as young girls & women often receive damaging information about “standards” of beauty & gender-specific behavior.

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Celebrating & listening to peers allows young girls to value the unique gifts of others, without a negative consequence on their own self-worth. Therefore, sharing quality time with peers allows the group to build support & trust in friendship. It’s believed that the less we judge others, the more we connect to our own capacity for healthy relationships. More importantly, support groups facilitate the movement toward empowerment & deep connection.

Each program at ECP cultivates & develops life skills that will continue long into adulthood. As the young girls club also contributes directly to the ECP mission, it has a distinguished ability to address & prevent issues regarding behavioral, emotional, or mental concerns that may arise at school. Impressed by the momentum & enthusiasm of the girls club, ECP Founder/Director suggests, “We need to start a boys club soon.”

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. 

Positive Thinking

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” – Margaret Mead

Why embracing positive thinking is so important – especially now.

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The Law of Attraction basically contradicts everything your mum told you when you were a young child and the other children at preschool would pull at your hair and make fun of you: Opposites don’t attract; rather, like attracts like. People who think and act positively will experience positive energy. People who surround themselves with negative and damaging energy are more likely to experience negative side-effects. Happiness and positivity do not just happen. You have to actively work for positivity, actively surround yourself with it and embrace it in your lifestyle.

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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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