A time to reflect

2019-03-05 06:00
Time out with nature.

Time out with nature.

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Learners from Levana and Prince George Primary school had yet another opportunity to be in touch with nature following their hike at Deer park on Saturday 23 February.

Deer Park is a small reserve part of Table Mountain National Park.

The hike was organised by Etienne Basson, environmental programme manager at Earthchild project, a non-profit organisation operating in the province. They offer complimentary education to under-resourced schools with a focus on the environment, health and self-development. They work with eight schools in Lavender Hill and Khayelitsha. Levana Primary school is their base in the Lavender Hill area and they have been working at the school for more than nine years.

Earthchild project’s approach to education is holistic, focused on health and wellness, life skills and the environment through different programmes integrated with the school curriculum. They do this mainly through yoga and meditation, organic gardening and environmental education.

Basson says it is crucial for learners to be out in the nature. “It was a good hike and the idea is to expose the children to a different environment compared to what they are used to. Because they are in a different environment they get to focus and get a different perspective of things without any disturbances. It really teaches them to sit still and have discipline,” he says.

Basson says this is not just any hike, there are a lot of things to do along the way like playing games and learning about the flora and fauna. Getting into a different environment helps them with different things and they can measure issues like emotional intelligence and teach themselves to complete tasks as a team and as an individual.

“There is an opportunity to be mindful and meditate - get in touch with yourself. This is very important for our learners. They get to reflect on things and to understand that there is more to the world than their surroundings and what they are used to in the communities.

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