ECP Climate Girls – Education is the key to change

Meet the Earthchild Project Climate Girls from Khayelitsha. This group of girls is pure power when it comes to sustainable living, and teaching their peers, families and community members how to live more sustainably, too. Even though these girls are only between the age of 12 and 13 years old, they know that they are responsible to make a positive difference for our planet!

Sadly, the lack of awareness among communities, especially those that reside in rural areas like Khayelitsha, allows people to engage in activities that cause exacerbated environmental problems. We believe that education is crucial in cultivating a desire to protect the planet, which is what our Climate Girls are trying to do in their communities. It is through education, which is the key social strategy for conservation, that people will gain an understanding of the importance to think and act in a conscious, sustainable manner.

“What I love about being in the garden is connect to nature because we live in the township and there’s a lot of noise. But when I’m in the garden I relax myself. I get time to connect with myself and also to connect with nature.”  

If we love nature, we will protect it. Our Climate Girls have a goal of educating their communities on the effects of climate change, and how they can live more sustainably in order to combat their own carbon footprint. They also want to encourage their peers to fall in love with nature, so that they too can act in ways to protect our planet and precious resources. 

Earthchild Project is committed to cultivating a generation of environmentally conscious young leaders, like our Climate Girls, who will in turn encourage their peers and communities to protect the future of our planet for generations to come. 

Beautiful video by @join_thedance and  @justincoomber

#education#climatechange#gretathunberg#climate#climatejustice#savetheplanet#climatecrisis#globalwarming#extinctionrebellion#climateaction#nature#schoolstrike#future#futureleaders#youngleaders#sustainability#environment#climateemergency#klimastreik#climatechangeisreal#zerowaste#fff#klimawandel#actnow

Ms Henricks – A teachers perspective on the benefits of Earthchild Project

Meet Ms Hendricks – one of the dedicated teachers with whom we work. Ms Hendricks teaches Grade 1 at Levana Primary School in Lavender Hill, which is one of the 8 schools in which Earthchild Project operates our programmes. She has welcomed the Earthchild Project facilitators into her class for the past four years, and is inspired by the difference that our programmes make in the lives of her young learners.

“The children that live here and come to school here – they are, you can say, constantly traumatised.” She say’s that due to the challenging environment of Lavender Hill, many children come to school distracted and hungry, often only coming to school for the plate of food provided by the school’s feeding scheme. And so the benefits of opening her class to the ECP facilitators are perfectly clear to her.

Ms Hendricks’ class participates in the ECP Yoga and Worm Farming Programmes. She says that over the years, she has noticed how the yoga lessons help to calm down the children who display behavioural issues, as well as teach them good values such as kindness. She notes how after a yoga class, the children are so much more confident, with a well developed self concept. The ECP facilitators inspire her by reminding the children that they are always beautiful and are always loved, and how we create a safe space for our children to express themselves. An additional positive is how our holistic approach to education improves her children’s academics.

We love working with teachers like Ms Hendricks, who are so warm and welcoming and who truly care about the impact that educators have on the minds and lives of young children, especially youth at risk.

ūüďł@dreamcatcherproductionsza

#lavenderhill#youth#youthatrisk#education#teachers#ecp#earthchildproject#yoga#yogainschools#npo#sponsorachild

Building a bright future in a challenging environment

Faqeer, who lives in Lavender Hill, is 17 years old – the age at which young men are the target of gang recruitment on the Cape Flats, and are at high risk of getting involved in crime and drugs. But not Faqeer, who has bigger dreams.

Faqeer says that a lot of boys his age try to do things to impress their peers, which often leads to joining gangs. “To grow up in Lavender Hill is like a task that you’re going through because there’s a lot of things you get distracted by like gangsterism, drug abuse”. Which is why Faqeer believes that ECP saved his life.

Through participation with Eco Warriors from Grade 4 to Grade 7 and then joining the Alumni Programme, ECP has highlighted for Faqeer his capabilities, and shown him how to overcome his weaknesses while building on his strengths. He says that ECP has always been by his side. He has particularly enjoyed the hikes and camps, as well as building the Levana Primary School Food Garden which was built in 2019 with the help of students participating in Semester at Sea Рa transformative #studyabroad programme recruiting students to volunteer around the world.  Faqeer still enjoys spending time in the Levana garden with his friends and believes that ECP has provided him with a safe place, away from violence. A place that can nurture his dreams of becoming a firefighter one day. A place where he can be happy.

Beautiful footage by Dreamcatcher Productions ZA

ECP Eco Explorers – Sharing our love for the earth in honour of Earth Day.

In honour of Earth Day tomorrow (Thursday 22 April 2021) we wanted to show our followers how we encourage a deep love for, and connection to the earth by sharing a little more about the Earthchild Project Eco Explorer and Hiking Clubs.

What’s special about taking our Earthchildren into nature and into the mountains, forests and beaches of Cape Town, is that we are able to provide a space for them to leave their communities, explore their own natural environment, connect with nature, and connect with themselves. Our facilitators teach them about local fauna and flora, as well as environmental challenges such as alien vegetation and pollution and the role that they can play in combating these growing issues. The eco-adventures are also used as a platform to empower the youth with life skills such as  team work, leadership and communication. At the same time, we combine our explorations with meditation and mindfulness activities that allow our Earthchildren to connect more deeply.

Hear from the mouths of our Eco Explorers what it is that they love the most about being out in nature and exploring with the ECP Eco Explorers Club;
“It makes me happy and it makes me peaceful.”
“It makes me close to nature.”
“We get to know other people and love each other.”
“I have always seen the mountain from my back yard and always wished I could climb it one day. Today was my first time walking on Table Mountain and it was a dream come true.

Through our Eco Explorations and our hikes, we aim to inspire and grow future environmental leaders who become changemakers and advocates for protecting mother earth!  

This video was filmed in Cape Town in 2017 in partnership with @earthdancect.

Claumi – Youth on the rise with our Alumni Programme

Claumi is 19 years old and lives in Retreat, Cape Town,  with her parents and her siblings. She has been with ECP for 9 years and is one of the proud graduates of our Alumni Programme which focuses on nurturing the leadership potential of a select group of our primary school graduates throughout their high school years.

When she was just ten years old, Claumi joined the ECP Programmes starting with yoga, worm farming, hiking and holiday programmes before moving into the Alumni Programme, where one of her highlights was the eight day Alumni Camp. 

“My experience in the first Earthchild camp was so amazing. It was one of, actually, the best experiences I have ever experienced.” It was a place where she was taught to start conversations and interact with people from other sectors which really helped her to overcome her shyness and build confidence. She says how the activities from the camp helped her to grow her self-esteem, and she still uses the practices of journaling and positive affirmations like “I am beautiful. I am amazing” at home, daily. 

Through the Alumni Programme she experienced deep personal transformation through practical opportunities that allowed her to build her leadership skills. One such skill that she is proud of is that she has learnt how to voice her opinion, while her most valuable skill that she has learned through ECP is the ability to be positive. She says that nurturing a positive mindset is what helped her through high school when friends were sometimes struggling.

Through the Alumni Programme, Claumi made friends who were experiencing similar life challenges to her. They were able to speak about their problems and help one another to problem solve. The ECP facilitators have been meaningful positive role models in her life – offering support, advice, and someone to turn to when it is tough to speak about problems at home. It is through our Alumni Programme that we are nurturing young leaders like Claumi, and are working together to grow future leaders who spread a vision for holistic living.

ūüďł@dreamcatcherproductionsza

#youngleader#youth#youthpower#youthmovement#culturemover#youthontherise#youthchampion

‘My story during Lockdown’ by Jadene van Neel

The 1st January 2020 was a day of excitement, happiness and full of new year's resolutions...and now we are in the middle of a world-wide pandemic. I never imagined that I would be living in a time that would bring the world to a complete lockdown. This is part of our history, it is part of what will not just influence my world experiences, but will shape the world experiences of so many children, youth and grown ups. We are going through this now not knowing what the new world will be like when this pandemic passes. While most of South Africa is in lockdown, people in my street and in my community are going about their daily lives. Everything is normal over here. Nothing has changed. 

The 1st January 2020 was a day of excitement, happiness and full of new year’s resolutions…and now we are in the middle of a world-wide pandemic. I never imagined that I would be living in a time that would bring the world to a complete lockdown. This is part of our history, it is part of what will not just influence my world experiences, but will shape the world experiences of so many children, youth and grown ups. We are going through this now not knowing what the new world will be like when this pandemic passes. While most of South Africa is in lockdown, people in my street and in my community are going about their daily lives. Everything is normal over here. Nothing has changed.¬†

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EARTHCHILD PROJECT AMBASSADOR ‚Äď JOELLE SLEEBOS

22 June 2019 was the fourth annual International Day of Yoga event held in Cape Town, and it was a wonderful success! And so it is a good time for us to honour our fifth Earthchild Project Yoga Ambassador - Jo√ęlle Sleebos.

Jo√ęlle‚Äôs passion for health and well-being started 17 years as a group fitness instructor and now calls herself Yogi, Traveler, Personal Trainer, Entrepreneur and Project Manager.

22 June 2019 was the fourth annual International Day of Yoga event held in Cape Town, and it was a wonderful success! And so it is a good time for us to honour our fifth Earthchild Project Yoga Ambassador – Jo√ęlle Sleebos.

Jo√ęlle‚Äôs passion for health and well-being started 17 years as a group fitness instructor and now calls herself Yogi, Traveler, Personal Trainer, Entrepreneur and Project Manager.

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Earthchild Project and Urban Harvest organic garden harvest day

The 29th May 2019 was truly a special day as Earthchild Project, Urban Harvest, Christopher - our Garden Champion, as well as our Levana Primary EcoWarriors brought their green fingers to school and got their hands and faces dirty (from eating the freshly harvested beetroot) during the first big harvest from the Food Garden/outdoor classroom at Levana Primary School.

The 29th May 2019 was truly a special day as Earthchild Project, Urban Harvest, Christopher – our Garden Champion, as well as our Levana Primary EcoWarriors brought their green fingers to school and got their hands and faces dirty (from eating the freshly harvested beetroot) during the first big harvest from the Food Garden/outdoor classroom at Levana Primary School.

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Changing the script for climate change

On 15 March 2019, at least 1.6 million school children across all 7 continents, in more than 125 countries and in over 2000 places, took a stand against climate change, brought to the forefront by Greta Thunberg with the #FridaysforFuture  campaign. #FFF is a movement following the call from Greta to rally school strikes in order to protest against the lack of action on the worlds current climate crisis. Why are school kids striking, you may ask? With the worsening Climate Destruction, the goal of going to school begins to be pointless. Greta Thunberg asks;
- Why study for a future, which may not be there?
- Why spend a lot of effort to become educated, when our governments are not listening to the educated?

On 15 March 2019, at least 1.6 million school children across all 7 continents, in more than 125 countries and in over 2000 places, took a stand against climate change, brought to the forefront by Greta Thunberg with the #FridaysforFuture  campaign. #FFF is a movement following the call from Greta to rally school strikes in order to protest against the lack of action on the worlds current climate crisis. Why are school kids striking, you may ask? With the worsening Climate Destruction, the goal of going to school begins to be pointless. Greta Thunberg asks;
– Why study for a future, which may not be there?
– Why spend a lot of effort to become educated, when our governments are not listening to the educated?

Read more

Volunteering with Earthchild Project – more than just giving back.

We have been absolutely blessed an honoured to have some brilliant volunteers supporting Earthchild Project over the last few months. These volunteers have immersed themselves daily in the operating of our programmes and connecting to our earthchildren, have dedicated time over weekends to assist with events, and have offered their skills behind the scenes with fundraisisng, website support and content creation. But the true beauty lies in the connections that our volunteers make with our earthchildren, and their daily experiences in the schools.

We have been absolutely blessed an honoured to have some brilliant volunteers supporting Earthchild Project over the last few months. These volunteers have immersed themselves daily in the operating of our programmes and connecting to our earthchildren, have dedicated time over weekends to assist with events, and have offered their skills behind the scenes with fundraisisng, website support and content creation. But the true beauty lies in the connections that our volunteers make with our earthchildren, and their daily experiences in the schools.

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Earthchild Project’s 4th annual Teachers Wellness Convention – a volunteer’s perspective.

On Saturday 2 March 2019, we hosted our fourth annual Teachers Wellness Convention. This event offered 200 school teachers from under-resourced communities in Cape Town an opportunity to learn from leading experts in the Wellness sector. It was a day to celebrate, and empower teachers-  with the knowledge and tools to better manage their stress and improve their health and overall well-being.We asked Pam Hoffman,  one of the many valued volunteers who assisted tirelessly with the event, to give us her vision of what the day involved;

On Saturday 2 March 2019, we hosted our fourth annual Teachers Wellness Convention. This event offered 200 school teachers from under-resourced communities in Cape Town an opportunity to learn from leading experts in the Wellness sector. It was a day to celebrate, and empower teachers-  with the knowledge and tools to better manage their stress and improve their health and overall well-being.We asked Pam Hoffman,  one of the many valued volunteers who assisted tirelessly with the event, to give us her vision of what the day involved;

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Cederberg hike under the stars

At the beginning of December last year, three magical days were spent in the Cederberg with 15 dedicated earthchildren and The Cape Leopard Trust for the Earthchild Project Hiking Club camp. There may have been rain and the odd challenging moment, but that didn’t dampen the spirit of our dedicated hikers who spent their last night sleeping a-top a cave under a billion stars.

At the beginning of December last year, three magical days were spent in the Cederberg with 15 dedicated earthchildren and The Cape Leopard Trust for the Earthchild Project Hiking Club camp. There may have been rain and the odd challenging moment, but that didn’t dampen the spirit of our dedicated hikers who spent their last night sleeping a-top a cave under a billion stars.

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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. ‚ÄúSeva‚ÄĚ is a Sanskrit word¬†meaning¬†‚Äúselfless service‚ÄĚ 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.

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. ‚ÄúSeva‚ÄĚ is a Sanskrit word¬†meaning¬†‚Äúselfless service‚ÄĚ 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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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!

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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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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