We are a young and dynamic team. We live what we teach and we are committed to cultivating a generation of confident, conscious and responsible Earthchildren.
I founded Earthchild Project in 2007 with the dream of nurturing a new generation of conscious and empowered young leaders. Before Earthchild Project, I completed a degree in Anthropology and Psychology, became a qualified yoga instructor and gained experience in informal education and youth facilitation. My role now is to ensure that our team works with integrity and passion in a way that is sustainable and professional, and in turn to provide the children with positive role models, high quality programmes and valuable skills for life. I am very proud of our amazing team of dedicated staff, and inspired by the impact that they have on the lives of the children we work with.
SCHOOLS’ PROGRAMME COORDINATOR
For the past 15 years I have had a dedicated practice of breath work, music, yoga, self-development studies and Sudarshin Kriya. I started teaching children’s yoga when I joined Janna in the first year of Earthchild Project in 2007. The benefits of all of these practices drew my interest, eventually leading me to complete my yoga teacher training in Costa Rica in 2017. I gained deeper interest in teaching parents and school teachers and within my own community. I aim to nurture and inspire the children with whom we work by making a difference in their lives.
Environmental Programme Manager
My passion has always been working with children, especially teenagers, encouraging them to care for, protect and take personal action toward themselves, the earth and others. Before Earthchild Project, I worked at WESSA & Fullcycle, offering educational programmes that taught learners and teachers about environmental issues affecting their communities. I joined Earthchild Project in 2008 and my current role is coordinating our schools’ Environmental Education Programmes and supporting and mentoring our GAP Year interns. I want to inspire the children with whom we work to play a role in society by creating the change they want to see and developing a sense of UBUNTU (humanity).
When asked by my yoga guru what yoga meant to me, my answer was simple ~ My Journey to Self-love ~ and it’s a journey that will continue to evolve with me throughout my life. Little did I know that working with Earthchild Project and witnessing the self love that we cultivate daily in little earthchildren would play a vital role in my own personal journey, too. With a passion for nature and self development, and a desire to keep learning and growing in the communications field, I feel at home with the Earthchild Project Family. I want to bring the message of what we do to the world, so that they too can be a part of the change.
ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION FACILITATOR
In 2007, my love for environmental studies started to grow when I joined Earthchild Project in my school and was involved with the first ECP Hiking Club. I have always loved being outdoors, especially when learning about and exploring nature. My love for the environmental programme’s has also played a big part in me becoming a happy hiker and allowed me to join the Wilderness Within Trail for five days of walking and camping combined with meditation and mindfulness. In 2018 I was entered for the Global Youth Award based in London where I was chosen as the winner for the environmental leadership section. I now lead hikes and environmental lessons in Khayelitsha.
JADENE VAN NEEL
GAP YEAR INTERN
I have been part of Earthchild Project since I was 10 years old and now I’m 18 years old and doing my Gap Year internship where I teach extra mural art to grade 3 learners. Earthchild Project has always given back to the community and I’ve gained so much knowledge over the years and now I’m also giving back to my community and sharing my knowledge with my art learners. I now have the opportunity to explore my artistic side while I’m exposing my learners to Art. I’ve become the person that I am today because of ECP, which has saved me from becoming the norm in a challenging society.
YOGA PROGRAMME FACILITATOR
I was born and raised in Khayelitsha, Cape Town. Growing up in Khayelitsha has always been a struggle for young people. There are no role models that you can look up to, people to inspire you or even celebrate you. My biggest achievement has been working for Earthchild Project, growing within the organisation and sharing my work with the people who have had an impact on shaping the person that I am today. I have always wanted to work with children, inspire them and give back to my community, and working with Earthchild serves that desire so well.
ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION FACILITATOR
I started working for Earthchild Project as a Gap year intern in 2016 after being a participant in the Programme since I was 9 years old. One of my biggest achievements is running a hiking club as I used to join the hikes regularly as a child. My role within Earthchild Project is to facilitate the environmental education lessons for our living classrooms and to manage and run the after school programmes. I aim to inspire our earthchildren everyday by providing them with the information and life skills that will better their lives in the future.