Earthchild Project is a non-profit organisation that offers complimentary holistic education to under-resourced schools in the Western Cape.
They operate in seven primary schools in the Cape Town townships of Lavender Hill and Khayelitsha and serve over 2,000 children.
The education that Earthchild provides is combined with the school’s curriculum and focusses on health, wellness, self-development, life skills and the environment. Yoga, meditation, organic gardening and environmental education are use to achieve the goals.
How did it all begin?
Earthchild’s director and founder, Janna Kretzmar spent a year travelling and working in an eco-village in South America. After returning to Cape Town in 2006, Janna was motivated to revolutionise local schools.
She started out volunteering at Chapel Street Primary in Woodstock, where she helped establish an organic vegetable garden and led guided meditations with the pupils. She realised the need to teach kids about taking care of their bodies, too.
Janna noted that schools didn’t have the resources to maintain the projects after the volunteers left. Earthchild Clothing assisted Janna to develop Earthchild Project by placing a full-time facilitator in a school. Other organisations got involved and after a week, they started working in Sakumlandela Primary in Khayelitsha. Within two months they had three facilitators, three schools, three donors and six partnering NGOs.
What does Earthchild Project do in schools?
- Yoga lessons teaching postures, relaxation techniques, games and songs all about being healthy
- Worm farming and container vegetable gardening workshops and follow-up lessons
- Eco outings to mountains, beaches and animal sanctuaries
- After school clubs with yoga or environmental focus that teach leadership and life skills
- Hiking clubs with a focus on the environment
- Holiday programs to develop leadership
Also, they provide wellness conventions for teachers to show them stress management techniques and how to improve their health and overall well-being. After being in action for nine years, there is also an alumni program to keep in contact with graduates who have benefitted from the project.
There are many ways to get involved with Earthchild Project. Whether you volunteer, donate or spread the word, it will go to a good cause.
Images courtesy Earthchild Project