Blog Post: Arnoldt Michaels Return To Origin Trainee Leader, Indigenous Knowledge Leadership Program.
Our Youth/ Nature Connection project kicked off to a great start. As the school holidays take place during December, it afforded Return to Origin the perfect opportunity to use the funds that we raised during our Origins art exhibition in October to give back to the community by exposing underserved children from the Vryground community to their natural heritage during holidays.
During our first excursion we invited the youth 10-13 year olds from Vryground, Cape Town’s oldest informal settlement, an opportunity to visit Erf 81 in Tamboerskloof to the permaculture garden by allowing them to sensually engage with the plants being grown there through feeling, tasting and smelling the various herbs that caught their attention. Hereafter, we formed a drumming circle where I was amazed at the skill and natural talent that some of the youth showed! The highlight of the day was for the youth to come face to face with the farm’s various free-range animals.
This preliminary excursion served as the perfect preparation for our Youth and Nature Connection Day in Silvermine Nature Reserve, which was our first opportunity to truly step into our roles as leaders by planning the day’s activities and facilitating our group of young people in forming a deeper bond with the natural environment. Through various activities from tracking and silently immersing oneself in the natural environment, to creating art, acting out animals and telling stories inspired by nature, we aimed to introduce them to the idea that they formed an integral part of the natural environment and the importance of honouring and respecting this bond.
All in all, this past month has been one of incredible opportunities, and has given me a glimpse into the powerful and transformative work that we can do with the underserved communities of Cape Town in the year to come, and fills me with hope and faith in what 2018 might hold.
Thanks to all those who have supported us throughout this past year and also to everyone involved within the structure of Return to Origin. I have grown in ways I would not have imagined possible before, and I have developed a relationship with my world which not only empowers me but also offers me the opportunity to empower others. Without your support this would not have been possible.
Blessings in abundance for the coming year!
PLEASE DONATE SO WE CAN CONTINUE OUR WORK. Thank YOU in advance.
(Click on below images for enlarged version.)