I’m back in Germany now and I can easily say that my time spent with Earth Child Project has been an absolute highlight in my three months in Africa. The work they do is so special and roots so deeply in the children’s lives that it seems almost impossible to put it into words. I will try my best and tell you more about this wonderful project and why supporting it is absolutely worth it. Every Euro, Dollar, Pesos or whatever you have is helpful…
I first heard about ECP at my last stay in Cape Town when I visited my absolute favorite Yoga Studio The Shala.
They work together with ECP and have a regular Sunday charity class and hold events to raise funds for the kids to have a chance to take yoga in school. That’s what ECP does, they offer yoga classes for underprivileged kids at school in Townships around Cape Town. Well that’s at least how it started 12 years ago. Today there is a hiking club every Saturday, the do a living classroom with yoga and worm farming, after school clubs, holiday programs, teacher conventions, supply young girls with sustainable sanitary pads and have their own almuni program where the next generation of teachers is growing from. A holistic and beautiful program contributing to adding life skills, a positive mindest, healthy habits, a perspective for the future and a role model through the teachers to the kids lives.
There are all things that seem naturally to us but growing up in a township like Khayelitsha they are an absolute luxury.
Khayelitsha is the second biggest Township in South Africa with an estimated number of 2 Million people living there. As I already tried to portray in my post about „Eco Brick Exchange“ in the Township Delft it’s very difficult to explain the dynamics of the discrimination in South Africa, the Townships and who is responsible, what should be done and so on. I don’t like to victimize anyone I’ve met through visiting ECP but being born in Khayelitsha is definitely something that burdens you with difficulties in life we can barely imagine. See the Blog Post on EcoBricks for a deeper insight form my personal perspective.
One woman grew up right there and is the best example for not being a victim to her circumstances at all: Nokuphiwo short Noks.
She is the first yoga teacher in Khayelitsha and started ECP together with Janna Kretzmar. She is an absolute wonder woman with the biggest heart and this spark in her eyes that lights up the whole room. There is so much passion in the way she teaches the children yoga and creates this space of safety and happiness for them. Most children living in a violent Township like Khayelitsha face things like HIV, Tuberculosis, violence, sexual abuse, alcoholism, drug abuse, extreme poverty and/or minimal hygiene in their own homes and surroundings. It is part of their life from day one. They are the children of the children being born into Apartheid without real role models or perspective.
Noks and Yoga are starting at the root.
With yoga Noks teaches them to love their bodies, to be thankful, to smile, to see their own worth, to be in a safe space, to move, to support each other, to respect others and so many things besides doing some yoga poses. Just the subtle way she starts a class with the so-called „Yoga Pledge“ is so powerful by using positive affirmations. The kids say the words of the yoga pledge with Noks and add movements like a little dance. It seems so small but has a huge effect knowing the power of words. After that they practice kids yoga with cat and cow, down dog and up dog, tree and holding onto each other, butterfly or make a sandwich with forward folds. Noks adds some breathing and meditation and of course everyones favorite savasana at the end. Just a normal yoga class for the heart, soul and so much more…
Sitting here back in Munich and trying to write down what I had the privilege to experience seems almost impossible.
But I know and felt what Earth Child Project does counts, it makes a huge difference and is so precious.
This is just an overview and I definitely have to write extra posts about my visit with my friends Hanna and Tobi and my boyfriend Lukas, then meeting Janna and Carly from the marketing and director side of ECP, going on a hike through Newlands Forest with some older kids and amazing volunteers and going back to the schools with Laura Malina Seiler – well known through her No.1 Podcast „Happy Holy Confident“- and even getting to teach the kids together.
Make a change that counts.
Here is just a short little insight into their special project. Go over to their Website and DONATE HERE
You can deduct all donations from your taxes (in Germany at least) technically you only reduce your taxes and isn’t that what we all want? Get involved, share, read more about ECP on their website, if in Cape Town volunteer for a hike, get active…
This is a cause worth supporting and we will keep close contact, keep supporting and I know big things are coming.
Photos by Tobias Tiedemann