Eco-Youth Circles

Bringing youth together after school to learn about the environment

Eco Youth Circles came from the concept of the common Eco-club. Bringing youth together after school to have immersive experiences in the environment and spend time in a positive community of supportive peers and a passion facilitator. The Circle is structured around an inner and outer ecology programme with camps that bring different youth together in wild spaces.

Bringing youth together after school to learn about the environment

Eco Youth Circles came from the concept of the common Eco-club. Bringing youth together after school to have immersive experiences in the environment and spend time in a positive community of supportive peers and a passion facilitator. The Circle is structured around an inner and outer ecology programme with camps that bring different youth together in wild spaces.

EYC headquarters

The old golf club in Pearston was initially used by Sophakama as an office space. Subsequently it became a space to host other activities. Noting the lack of recreational activities in town, Sophakama initiated a school holiday programme in December 2012. On the first day of the programme over 300 children showed up! Since then we gained the support of a number of other local institutions to run programmes like World Literacy events to the Pearston Amazing Race! The Pearston Club is the headquarters of the Pearston Eco-Youth Club where they assist in the gardening activities and use the classroom space.

Some of the Pearston EYC members were part of a UK Schools Exchange visit with Wickersley School and Sports College in July and October 2019 where they participated in a week of activities including; exploring the Plains of Camdeboo Private Nature Reserve, Camdeboo National Park – Valley of Desolation, playing sport, planting a garden and painting a stunning mural at the library. As part of the same trip, they also visited Tsitsikamma where they planted trees and went on beautiful forest walks (see Bushmans Pillow Reforestation for more information).

Through this connection to Tsitsikamma, we started the Tsitsikamma Eco Youth Circle. Having two Circles from two different communities and different ecosystems means the youth can mix and learn from one another, make friends and connections they otherwise wouldn’t have and share their passions and knowledge with their new friends. Youth apply each year to be part of their local circle and then follow a year long process that is made up of inner and outer ecology activities, learning and outings (the content is derived from experienced facilitators, science based research, stress resilience tools and the Asset Based Community Development curriculum). The Circles come together in camps twice a year to learn from passionate facilitators and from the wild! They each have their own leaders on the ground and the process aims to upskill learners so that they can become mentors and in time, leaders of the group.

Our Collaborators

Eco-Youth Circle Exchange and camps

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