The Earthchild Project and internationally renowned yoga instructor Seane Corn and her business partner, Suzanne Sterling, opened a new classroom at Sakumlandela Primary School in Khayelitsha on Friday, 11 February.
The Earthchild Project is a non-profit organisation that aims to enrich and uplift the lives of children in the Western Cape by teaching practical skills on how to live a more balanced and fulfilling life, with a focus on self-awareness, health and wellness, and the environment.
Janna Kretzmar, the driving force behind the Earthchild Project, said: "It’s such a joy to welcome Seane and her team to South Africa and share the work we do with them. Their generous contribution of $20 000 for this classroom will go a long way to improving the quality of learning of the scholars at Sakumlandela Primary School.”
Sting, Madonna and Drew Barrymore
Seane Corn and Suzanne Sterling head up Off the Mat, Into the World (OTM), which is dedicated to bridging yoga and activism. Founded in 2007, OTM’s mission is to use the power of yoga to inspire conscious, sustainable activism and ignite grassroots social change. Corn is an internationally celebrated yoga teacher that has worked with celebrities including Sting, Madonna, Drew Barrymore, Robert Downey Jr, Nicholas Cage, John Cusack and David Duchovny.
Off The Mat had identified the Earthchild Project as one of the organisations it would support through its Bare Witness Tours, where OTM candidates raise funds for a specific cause and then travel abroad to see how those funds are used to meet a real need.
Through money raised by Off The Mat, the Earthchild Project constructed a 10m x 7m classroom, with all internal modifications needed to turn it into a safe haven for children to enjoy yoga and life-skills classes.
Learning practical skills
Jonathan Katz, managing director of Earthchild Clothing, the founding donors of the Earthchild Project, said: "Teaching children the benefits of a holistic lifestyle and being environmentally-responsible underlines Earthchild’s commitment to protecting the earth and its precious resources. We are very proud to be associated with the vital work being done by Janna and her committed team and volunteers.”
The Earthchild Project supports select schools by placing a facilitator at each school. The facilitators introduce and maintain the Earthchild Project schools programme, which compliments the existing school curriculum whilst also giving children the opportunity to learn practical skills that can be applied at school and integrated into their lives.
Nokuphiwo Jada, Earthchild Project’s facilitator at Sakumlandela Primary School, said: "Growing up in an area like Khayelitsha brings its own dangers, its own fears. I have found yoga to be a great tool that allows me to love myself and to connect with other people, and I am happy to be able to teach a new generation of the virtues of a healthy, holistic lifestyle."
The Earthchild Project schools programme includes extra-mural activities such as yoga, gardening, and arts and crafts; practical teaching on how to grow and maintain an organic vegetable garden; a holiday programme; educational outings; and teaching on how to start and maintain a worm farm. The worm farms are sold to other schools and private individuals as part of a fundraising effort to help cover the costs of the schools programme.
For more information about the Earthchild Project and how you can get involved, visit www.earthchildproject.org